There are an estimated 2.2 billion Christians in the world, which makes Christianity the largest religion on the planet. It is a monotheistic faith where Roman Catholicism is the most prominent denomination. Christianity has its roots in the Middle East. From there, it spread throughout the world through missionaries and colonization. The Bible is considered to be the most sacred text in Christianity. The three largest Christian populations are found in the Americas as well as in Europe.
Countries With the Most Christians
The United States of America
The United States tops the list with an estimated 230 million Christians living in the country. Christianity is by far the most popular religion in the country, with the majority being Protestant Christians. Christianity in the US became firmly ingrained under British rule. Some states were exclusively established as Christian havens such as Pennsylvania. With political independence came religious independence as well. Religious independence saw the proliferation of Protestant Churches, which were keen to resist the influence of the Catholic Church in the US. Beliefs among the diverse denominations have only minor differences. God is revered as the super being across all Christian denominations, and the Bible is the Holy Christian book. The US has no official state religion and the constitution guarantees for the freedom of worship for all. The Christian adherents in the US have been steadily declining while the numbers of people not affiliated to any organized religion have been increasing.
Brazil is home to the largest population of Christians in South America, as well as to the greatest number of Catholics of any nation in the world. The country has 180,770,000 Christian adherents. Prevalence of all forms of Christianity stands at 90%. Catholicism in Brazil has its origins with the European settlers, and the denomination was made the official religion of the state in the 19th Century. Catholicism became firmly intertwined with the political and social life of Brazilians. The results of the Catholic influence can be seen today in activities such as festivals based on Catholic doctrines. The constitution of Brazil guarantees for freedom of worship and there are numerous Protestant Churches in the country. Such churches include Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Evangelical Protestantism has reduced drastically and has led to the dominance of the Roman Church in Brazil. Secularism has also been on the rise in the country.
Mexico boasts over 100 million Christians who are primarily Roman Catholics. Prevalence of all forms of Christianity in Mexico stands at 92%. Christianity in Mexico has its roots on the Spanish during their conquest of the region. Protestantism first took root in Mexico in the 1800s and 1900s. Christianity in Mexico is generally tolerant, and different religions exist in harmony. The constitution of Mexico clearly provides for the separation of the church and the state. There is also freedom of religious worship in the country. Growing secularism in the nation has led to a decrease in the number of Christians. Evangelical Christianity has also been on a steady increase while Roman Catholicism has experienced a notable decline in the recent years.
Nigeria accounts for the most Christians of any nation on the African continent, with as many as 107 million adherents. Prevalence of all forms of the religion stands at around 49%, with the dominant type being Protestantism. Christianity in Nigeria is particularly prevalent in the Southern and Central areas of the country. Christianity in Nigeria, as in many African countries, was the result of missionaries and colonization. Christianity denominations in the country include Roman Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist, Baptist, Anglican, Church of Nigeria, and Assemblies of God Church. Protestants churches in Nigeria adhere to the foundations of Christianity as other Protestants in other countries but have also adopted different ways of expressing their faith.
Countries With Christian Populations Who Are Growing
Other countries with large Christian populations, and their respective numbers of adherents, include the Philippines with 86 million, Russia with between 66 million to 99 million Christians, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (63 million), Ethiopia (52 million), Italy (53 million), and Germany (47 million). Christianity is expected to increase in numbers, with the highest growth expected to be recorded in Sub-Saharan Africa.