And the 3rd-Largest Religious Group in the World is…

3rd Largest ReligionAccording to an article in the New York Times The third-largest religious group, after Christians and Muslims, is the “religiously unaffiliated.”

The article goes on to say that “More than three-quarters of the religiously unaffiliated live in Asia, the majority in China. Many of the people in this group do hold some religious or spiritual beliefs and may even believe in a deity, but they do not identify with a particular faith.”

The study is based on analysis of 2,500 different data sources, including censuses and demographic surveys of children and adults in 232 countries. It relies on self-identification, so it includes people who are not regular practitioners or orthodox believers of the religion they claim.


Does this 3rd-largest group pose a threat to Christianity?  In what way?

Is the Making Disciples of all “Ethnic Groups” becoming less or more possible?

Doesn’t this information restate the importance of “GOING” in the Making of Disciples?


For related articles, see:

Christians Make More Bacon than Disciples

The Gospel is in the Go!

Aren’t All Christians Supposed to Make Disciples, Be Witnesses, and Evangelize?




0 thoughts on “And the 3rd-Largest Religious Group in the World is…

  1. Jonathan says:

    1) No. The only meaningful threat to Christianity is a cultural faith rather than a Biblical one.

    2) It remains unchanged. God is the sole owner of “the possible” since he knew who he would draw to himself from before the foundation of the world.

    3) Going is assumed. God is up to some very interesting events in Asia. The traditional missiological paradigm of focusing on sending/funding thousands of missionary units from the West as a primary method is being replaced by the global market opening these areas to tens of thousands of businessmen and businesswomen who have more flexibility and greater access to the infrastructure…not to mention that the funds for travel is funded by private business investment. This is one way that God is accomplishing his Great Commission by orchestrating the paths of the “as you are going”.

  2. Miguel says:


    Awesome responses!

    Regarding your answer to the first: What, in your view constitutes a “cultural faith?”

    2. Simple, brief, and powerful. I still wonder what others might say.

    3. This is a provoking answer. If what you’re saying is true, then there’s not only a paradigm shift coming, but an unprecedented practical shift as well. I think I will use this comment and develop a completely new post based on it.

    • Jonathan says:

      By “cultural faith”, I’m referring to the same concept as “cultural Christianity” as contrasted with “Biblical Christianity”. This describes an individual who participates in the trappings of Christianity as an important part of one’s social functions but whose life shows no more marks of redemption than any other member of the lost culture. “Matthew 7:21 Christians” or “Demas Christians” would also be apt descriptors. One rarely finds these creatures in the 1040 or in areas where to live as a Christ follower could bring actual persecution. North America is stocked to the brim with them.

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