The above map (click to enlarge) displays the ten most populous Christian nations in the world. Although Hilaire Belloc once quipped that “Europe is the faith and the faith is Europe,” Italy is the only western European nation on this map. Rather, the great majority of the ten most populous Christian nations in the world are found in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Christianity in Ethiopia, for example, has ancient roots that predate the conversion of much of Europe.
What the second map reveals may come as a surprise to many. The purple areas display the nations of the world whose populations are majority Christian. The pink-colored nations are nations with a significant Christian minority. Despite the world's vast cultural diversity, Christianity appears as faith that can be lived equally by Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans. Christianity, like mankind, can live and grow in all parts of the world.
Today's maps reaffirm the fact that Christianity is a world religion for all humanity. The Kingdom of God is being established in the interplay of the Universal Church with all its local eucharistic manifestations and the diversity of the nations with all their many tongues. The church cannot be captured by a passing age (the Modern) nor a fleeting direction (the West). It is the whole human species that the new Adam has come to reincorporate in his Father's Kingdom so we can once again be about our original mission.
This article originally appeared on Anthropology of Accord on October 6, 2014.