Publication and Citations
The World's Religions in Figures: An Introduction to International Religious Demography (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013)
Co-authored by Todd Johnson and Brian Grim (Pew Research Center Religion & Public Life Project), this unique introduction to international religious demography outlines the challenges in interpreting data on religious adherence, and presents a contemporary portrait of global religious belief. Visit the Wiley-Blackwell site for more information, including samples from the text.
- Offers the first comprehensive overview of the field of international religious demography – detailing what we know about religious adherents around the world, and how we know it
- Examines religious freedom and diversity, including agnostics and atheists, on a global scale, highlighting trends over the past 100 years and projecting estimates for the year 2050
- Outlines the issues and challenges related to definitions, taxonomies, sources, analyses, and other techniques in interpreting data on religious adherence
- Considers data from religious communities, censuses, surveys, and scholarly research, along with several in-depth case studies on the global Muslim population, religion in China, and the religious demography of recently created Sudan and South Sudan
- Argues against the belief that the twentieth-century was a "secular" period by putting forward new evidence to the contrary
- Provides resources for measuring both qualitatively and quantitatively important data on the world's religious situation in the twenty-first century
Designed for both the casual user and research scholar, the World Christian Database (WCD) is an online database containing comprehensive demographic statistics on global Christianity. Over 400 categories of information including religious adherents, Christian traditions and missions trends are available at the province, country, people group, language and city levels for the entire world. The full-time staff at The Center for the Study of Global Christianity is dedicated to updating and maintaining the WCD. New information from thousands of sources is reviewed on a weekly basis to continually refine and improve the WCD.
Click below for documents describing World Christian Database Sources and Methodology:
World Religion Database (Brill, 2008)
The World Religion Database (WRD), edited by Todd Johnson and Brian Grim, contains detailed statistics on religious affiliation for every country in the world. It is the major source to render a definitive picture of international religious demography. The WRD provides both current and historical data, as well as sophisticated forecasts of future developments. For each of the world’s religions, best estimates at multiple dates for the period 1900 to 2050 are given. The WRD also offers access to the sources which underlie the figures in the database, such as censuses and surveys. Through an interactive feedback mechanism users can leave comments on sources or methodology related to any figure reported in the WRD. The WRD is constantly updated with new sets of data as they become available, such as estimates of religious affiliation at the province level and religious freedom information for all countries in the world. No other database available today is as comprehensive. Click here for more information, or to access the World Religion Database.
- Global comparative figures for every major religion
- Population and religious adherents for every country and United Nations region
- Access to source material on religious affiliation (census and survey figures)
- Breakdown of major religions into traditions (e.g., Sunni-Shi’as within Islam)
- Multiple data points to compare growth rates (1900, 1950, 1970, 2000, 2005, 2025, 2050)
- Feedback mechanism for users to comment on data, sources and methodology
- Updated quarterly
Atlas of Global Christianity (Edinburgh University Press, 2009)
The Atlas of Global Christianity is a thorough visual reference of the changing status of global Christianity over the 100 years since the epoch-making ‘Edinburgh 1910’ World Missionary Conference. It is the first scholarly atlas to depict the twentieth-century shift of Christianity to the Global South. It is also the first to map Christian affiliation at the provincial level.
World Christian Encyclopedia (Oxford University Press, 2001)
First published in 1982, the World Christian Encyclopedia (WCE) immediately took its place as the authoritative, standard work in its field. The second edition’s oversized 1,700 pages represent the most extensive survey of Christianity, and of religion in general, ever attempted. The heart of the WCE is a series of 238 chapters on the status of religion and of Christianity in every country in the world. Statistical tables show, in great detail, the religious breakdown of the population and the Christian denominations of every country. The second edition updated and extended this analysis to include the status of Christianity in every language, people, city and province of the world.
World Christian Trends: Interpreting the Annual Christian Megacensus, AD 33-AD 2001 (William Carey Library, 2001)
A 952-page companion volume to the World Christian Encyclopedia, World Christian Trends (WCT) includes a first-ever empirical survey of Christian martyrdom, historical trends, future projections and finance. Included in this volume are a variety of charts, tables, and lists.
Click here to read an excerpt from World Christian Trends by Dr. David B. Barrett and Dr. Todd M. Johnson describing martyrdom through the Christian age. This chapter was cited in the January 2011 issue of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research.
Bellofatto, Gina A., and Todd M. Johnson. "Highlights of Christianity in its Global Context, 1970-2020: Society, Religion, and Mission." Lausanne Global Analysis (June 2013).
Hickman, Bert. "Urban Asian Christianity by the Numbers." The New Urban World Journal 2:2 (November 2013): 88-91.
Johnson, Todd and Brian Grim. The World’s Religions in Figures: An Introduction to International Religious Demography. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
Bellofatto, Gina A. "Religious Belief in the Year 2100." The Futurist 46:5 (September-October 2012).
Hickman, Bert. "The Urban World by the Numbers." The New Urban World Journal 1:1 (November 2012): 70-2.
Johnson, Todd, Rodney L. Petersen, Gina A. Bellofatto and Travis L. Myers, ed. 2010Boston: The Changing Contours of World Mission and Christianity. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2012.
Johnson, Todd. "Seven Signposts of Hope and Challenge in Global Christianity." Connections 5:1 (April 2007): 22–25.
“Size of the new Pope’s flock – 1.1 billion, nearly a four-fold increase from a century ago” the Weekly Number, February 25, 2013.
“How do you count Catholics?” BBC News, February 23, 2013.
Carey, Ann. "Conference Explores Martyrdom of Today's Christians." Today's Catholic News, November 14, 2012.
Zurlo, Gina. “Methods and Sources of International Religious Demography,” presented at the American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Baltimore, MD, November 2013.
Zurlo, Gina. “World Religion Database and World Christian Database: Academic Rigor with Multi-Media Delivery,” presented at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion annual meeting, Boston, MA, November 2013.
Zurlo, Gina. “Demographics of World and Asian Christianity,” presented at the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute of the World Council of Churches, Busan, South Korea, October 2013.
Zurlo, Gina. “Christian Sociology in Transition: The Institute of Social and Religious Research,” presented at the American Sociological Association annual meeting, New York City, New York, August 2013.
Zurlo, Gina. “Christian Sociology in Transition: The Institute of Social and Religious Research,” presented at the “Reenvisioning the History of Sociology: A Symposium for Junior Historians of Sociology” sponsored by the History of Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association at its annual meeting, New York City, New York, August 2013.
Zurlo, Gina. “Highlights from Christianity in its Global Context, 1970–2020: Society, Religion, and Mission,” presented at the Lausanne Global Leadership Forum, Bangalore, India, June 17, 2013.
Zurlo, Gina. “Forced Migration: ‘District 9,’” presented at the Costas Consultation on Global Mission, “Mission at the Borders: Encountering Migration in World Cinema,” Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, February 18, 2011.
Zurlo, Gina. “Shifting Paradigms in Ecumenical and Interfaith Dialogue,” presented at New Challenges in Faith and Order Graduate Student Conference, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, April 4, 2009.
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