Charisma (January) magazine looks at the 10 “spiritual hot spots,“ or places where evangelical, particularly charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity, is growing the fastest and finds most of them in Asia and Africa.
Researcher Justin Long writes that Christianity is growing most rapidly in those places “considered unreachable [in terms of Christian missions] a few decades ago. In the isolated Himalayan nation of Nepal, the Christian presence has grown from just 25 believers in 1960 to more than one million today. Although Christians are represented at three percent in this predominantly Hindu nation, they are growing twice as fast as other faiths. Although the numbers of Christians have long been in dispute in China, Long estimates that their numbers have increased from 64 million to 90 million todayl with charismatics numbering at 60 million.
Population growth is the main source of Christian expansion in the largely Muslim African nation of Burkina Faso, where from 1983 to 2000, Christians churches have doubled and the number of charismatics doubled to 900,000. The western African nation of Benin is likewise showing sharp growth rate of 3.1 annually, with nearly 120,000 new members joining churches annually. About half of the country’s Christians are Catholics and charismatics number about 650,000.
Singapore is now showing about 500,000 Christians organized in everything from small house churches to mega churches. India, meanwhile, is showing a Christian growth of nearly double the rate of the overall population, with 60 million, half of which are charismatic. The largest mission agencies are based in the country. Vietnam is still officially communist, but the churches are growing at roughly 1.2 percent per year, slight ahead of the population Vietnam missionaries are now being sent abroad.
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