the shape of leadership

The State of Global Christianity

A conversation with Dr. Gina Zurlo

George P Wood on February 16, 2023


Christianity is the world’s largest religion. In 1900, approximately 558 million people around the globe identified as Christian. By 2020, that number had grown to approximately 2.5 billion.

Despite that numerical growth, Christianity shrank as a percentage of the world’s population, from 34% in 1900 to 32% in 2020. Atheism and agnosticism grew from 0.2% to 12% of the global population during the same time period, and Islam doubled from 12% to 24%. Demographers estimate that by 2050, Christians will constitute 35% of the world population and Muslims 29%.

What should Christians do with these statistics?

That’s the question I ask Dr. Gina Zurlo in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Dr. Zurlo is codirector of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, and a research fellow at Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs. She is author of Global Christianity: A Guide to the World’s Largest Religion from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, published by Zondervan Academic.

This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by The General Council of the Assemblies of God.

General Council is the AG’s premier conference. It occurs every two years the first week in August and incorporates spiritual inspiration, practical leadership training, and denominational business. The theme of the 2023 General Council is “Our Church, Our Family.” The conference will take place July 31–August 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit for more information and to register.
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