Christian Traditions

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Christian Population by Major Traditions

Source: World Christian Encyclopedia pgs. 8, 10, 12, 14, 16; 2020, Evangelical and Pentecostal movements are found within other Christian traditions as listed above. See pg. 13 for more details

Global Distribution

Catholicism remains the dominant Christian tradition throughout the world, with only Oceania possessing a near majority of Protestants. Orthodox traditions have experienced the sharpest decline in the past century, primarily through persistent persecution in Communist and then Islamic contexts.

Independents, those who do not identify with Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestants, have witnessed the most marked growth.

Growth of independents has fueled the rise of Christianity in Africa, and independents will likely dominate Christian growth in the Global South for decades to come.

Christian Population by Global Region

Source: World Christian Encyclopedia pgs. 8, 10, 12, 14, 16; 2020, See World Christian Encyclopedia for Christian tradition definitions

Growing Diversity

While European-origin traditions, most specifically Catholicism, dominated a century ago, today’s global church is marked by increasing denominational parity.

The increase in number of denominations and movements can be both cause for celebration of Christianity’s diversity but also can promote fragmentation and division.

Urban contexts marked by high levels of migration are centers of the promises and perils of Christian diversity.

Majority Christian Denomination by Country

Source: World Christian Encyclopedia, pg. 20; 2020