World Christian Encyclopedia Online

Get access Subject: Religious Studies
Authors: Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo

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This in the online version of the 3rd edition of the World Christian Encyclopedia, which documents the changing status of World Christianity over the past 120 years from historical and social scientific perspectives. It records the continued shift of Christianity to the Global South and contains estimates for religious and nonreligious affiliation in every country of the world, including detail on Christianity to the denominational level. This reference work features comprehensive descriptions of all Christian traditions, including current information on the uniqueness of Christian experiences around the world.

The online version is fully text searchable, contains cross references and additional photo material.

More information:


(5,420 words)

Rzeczpospolita Polska (The Republic of Poland) Demographics (United Nations) Population 37,942,000 Area 310,000 sq. km (120,000 sq. mi) Population density 120/sq. km (310/sq. mi) Growth rate p.a. -0.17% (per 1,000: births 8, deaths 11) Under 15 years 15% Urban dwellers 60% (-0.16% p.a.) Largest cities Warsaw 1,783,000; Kraków 769,000; Lódz 677,000; Wroclaw 641,000; Poznan 531,000; plus 4 over 300,000 Languages & peoples (World Christian Database) Mother tongues 95% Polish, 3% Standard German, 1% Ukrainian, plus 17 others Peoples 95% Polish (Pole, Silesian); 3% German; 1% …


(4,392 words)

República Portuguesa (The Portuguese Republic) Demographics (United Nations) Population 10,218,000 Area 92,000 sq. km (36,000 sq. mi) Population density 110/sq. km (290/sq. mi) Growth rate p.a. -0.39% (per 1,000: births 7, deaths 11) Under 15 years 13% Urban dwellers 66% (0.44% p.a.) Largest cities Lisbon 2,957,000; Porto 1,313,000 Languages & peoples (World Christian Database) Mother tongues 95% Portuguese, 1% Chinese, 1% Kabuverdianu, 1% English, plus 15 others Peoples 91% Portuguese; 1% Marrano; 1% Brazilian; 1% Han Chinese; 1% Angolan Mestico; plus 25 others Socioeconomics…

Preface to the first edition

(978 words)

Author(s): David B. Barrett
In 1968, a group of church demographers met and decided that the time was ripe to undertake, for possibly the first time in Christian history, a comprehensive survey of all branches of global Christianity. It was expected that the task of compiling this resulting encyclopedia would take about three years; in the event, it has taken twelve years. The reason for this lengthy period was that all those originally involved, including the editor, seriously underestimated the immense size and complexit…

Preface to the second edition

(1,725 words)

Author(s): David B. Barrett
This encyclopedia describes empirical Christianity—those facts about the world Christian movement that are measurable. It does this by setting out summaries of the survey data produced every year by a vast decentralized investigation quietly undertaken by churches and religious workers across the world. In fact, for over 150 years now, most of the Christian world’s denominations and agencies have been conducting an annual census which is probably the world’s largest single detailed enumeration. …

Preface to the third edition

(1,201 words)

Author(s): Todd M. Johnson | Gina A. Zurlo
The World Christian Encyclopedia represents the most comprehensive attempt to quantify adherents of Christianity and other world religions. The 50-year sustained effort strikes many as impossible: documenting affiliation to 18 religious/nonreligious traditions in the past, present and future, plus detail on Christianity down to the denominational level in each of the world’s 234 countries. The scope and depth of its contents make it one of the most-quoted books in World Christianity and mission stu…

Puerto Rico

(4,117 words)

Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico/The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Demographics (United Nations) Population 3,651,000 Area 9,100 sq. km (3,500 sq. mi) Population density 400/sq. km (1,000/sq. mi) Growth rate p.a. -0.13% (per 1,000: births 10, deaths 8) Under 15 years 17% Urban dwellers 94% (-0.12% p.a.) Largest cities San Juan 2,448,000; Aguadilla 300,000 Languages & peoples (World Christian Database) Mother tongues 97% Spanish, 2% English, plus 3 others Peoples 72% Puerto Rican White; 15% Black; 10% Mulatto; 2% USA White; plus 7 others Socioeconomics Development Index (max 100) 6…