Where in the world today do you think Christianity is growing at the most rapid rate? If you said China, you would be close. That would have been my guess, but I learned this week that the country where our faith is expanding fastest is Nepal! According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity in 1970 the population of Nepal was just under 12 million. Only 7,400 of those people were Christians. That was just 0.1% of the population. It is projected that by 2020 the population will have increased dramatically to 35 million, but there will be more than 1.3 million Christians, accounting for 3.8% of the population! The church in Nepal is growing at a rate of almost 11% per year, which is the highest in the world. Another source I found suggested that those numbers may be conservative. It claimed that the church in Nepal already numbers 2.5 million. It is difficult to track the numbers because so many of the people there live in villages that are difficult to reach due to the mountainous terrain. Either way, that is dramatic growth.
One last country is worthy of mention. In 1990 in Mongolia there were only four Christians. Can you imagine what life must have been like for those four? Today there are over 40,000 believers there. There are over 300 churches in the capital city of Ulan Bator alone. Sometimes we forget that Jesus said the gates of hell will not prevail against his kingdom. We get tunnel vision, focused just on what is happening in our little part of the world, and we lose sight of the bigger picture. God is at work in powerful ways in the world, often in places we would least expect. These realities give us one more reminder that our God is great, and that we can be at peace as we trust in him. They also remind us to keep the big picture in view and to pray for our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world.