evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism,[a] is a
worldwide, crossdenominational movement within
which maintains the belief that the essence of the
the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in
atonement. Evangelicals believe in the centrality of the
conversion or the "born again" experience in receiving salvation, in
the authority of the
as God's revelation to humanity, and in
spreading the Christian message. The movement has had a long presence
before spreading further afield in the 19th, 20th
and early 21st centuries.
Its origins are usually traced to 1738, with various theological
streams contributing to its foundation, including English Methodism,
(in particular its bishop
his community at Herrnhut), and German
and other early Methodists were at the root of sparking
this new movement during the First Great Awakening. Today,
evangelicals are found across many
branches, as well as in
various denominations not subsumed to a specific branch. Among
leaders and major figures of the evangelical
John Wesley, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Billy Graham, Harold
and Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The movement gained
great momentum during the 18th and 19th centuries with the Great
Awakenings in the United Kingdom and the United States.
The United States has the largest concentration of evangelicals in the
world. Based mostly in the
Belt, US evangelicals are a quarter
of the nation's population and politically important. In the United
Kingdom, evangelicals are represented mostly in the
communities, and among evangelical Anglicans.
Evangelicalism, a major part of popular Protestantism,[b] is among the
most dynamic religious movements in the contemporary world. While
evangelicalism is on the rise globally, developing countries have
particularly embraced it; it is the fastest growing portion of
3.1 Christian fundamentalism
3.2 Mainstream varieties
3.3 Non-conservative varieties
4.2 18th century
4.3 19th century
4.4 20th century
5 Global statistics
6.1 East African Revival
7 Latin America
8.1 South Korea
9 United Kingdom
10 United States
11 See also
15 Further reading
16 External links
The word evangelical has its etymological roots in the Greek word for
"gospel" or "good news": εὐαγγέλιον euangelion, from eu
"good", angel- the stem of, among other words, angelos "messenger,
angel", and the neuter suffix -ion. By the English Middle Ages, the
term had expanded semantically to include not only the message, but
New Testament which contained the message, as well as more
specifically the Gospels, which portray the life, death, and
resurrection of Jesus. The first published use of evangelical in
English was in 1531, when
William Tyndale wrote "He exhorteth them to
proceed constantly in the evangelical truth." One year later Sir
Thomas More wrote the earliest recorded use in reference to a
theological distinction when he spoke of "Tyndale [and] his
evangelical brother Barns".
During the Reformation,
Protestant theologians embraced the term as
referring to "gospel truth".
Martin Luther referred to the
evangelische Kirche ("evangelical church") to distinguish Protestants
from Catholics in the Roman Catholic Church. Into the 21st
century, evangelical has continued in use as a synonym for (mainline)
Protestant in continental Europe, and elsewhere. This usage is
reflected in the names of
Protestant denominations, such as the
Evangelical Church in Germany
Evangelical Church in Germany (a union of
Lutheran and Reformed
churches) and the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America.
In the English-speaking world, evangelical was commonly applied to
describe the series of revival movements that occurred in Britain and
North America during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth
centuries. Christian historian
David Bebbington writes that,
"Although 'evangelical', with a lower-case initial, is occasionally
used to mean 'of the gospel', the term 'Evangelical', with a capital
letter, is applied to any aspect of the movement beginning in the
1730s." According to the Oxford English Dictionary, evangelicalism
was first used in 1831.
The term may also be used outside any religious context to
characterize a generic missionary, reforming, or redeeming impulse or
purpose. For example, the
Times Literary Supplement refers to "the
rise and fall of evangelical fervor within the Socialist
Children worshipping at the Harvestime Church of Eau Claire, Wisconsin
One influential definition of evangelicalism has been proposed by
historian David Bebbington. Bebbington notes four distinctive
aspects of evangelical faith: conversionism, biblicism, crucicentrism,
and activism, noting, "Together they form a quadrilateral of
priorities that is the basis of Evangelicalism."
Conversionism, or belief in the necessity of being "born again", has
been a constant theme of evangelicalism since its beginnings. To
evangelicals, the central message of the gospel is justification by
faith in Christ and repentance, or turning away, from sin. Conversion
differentiates the Christian from the non-Christian, and the change in
life it leads to is marked by both a rejection of sin and a
corresponding personal holiness of life. A conversion experience can
be emotional, including grief and sorrow for sin followed by great
relief at receiving forgiveness. The stress on conversion
differentiates evangelicalism from other forms of
Protestantism by the
associated belief that an assurance of salvation will accompany
conversion. Among evangelicals, individuals have testified to both
sudden and gradual conversions.
Biblicism is reverence for the
Bible and a high regard for biblical
authority. All evangelicals believe in biblical inspiration, though
they disagree over how this inspiration should be defined. Many
evangelicals believe in biblical inerrancy, while other evangelicals
believe in biblical infallibility.
Crucicentrism is the centrality that evangelicals give to the
Atonement, the saving death and resurrection of Jesus, that offers
forgiveness of sins and new life. This is understood most commonly in
terms of a substitutionary atonement, in which Christ died as a
substitute for sinful humanity by taking on himself the guilt and
punishment for sin.
Activism describes the tendency toward active expression and sharing
of the gospel in diverse ways that include preaching and social
action. This aspect of evangelicalism continues to be seen today in
the proliferation of evangelical voluntary religious groups and
Further information: List of Christian denominations
Together For the Gospel, an evangelical pastors' conference held
biennially. A panel discussion with (from left to right) Albert
Mohler, Ligon Duncan, C. J. Mahaney, and Mark Dever.
As a trans-denominational movement, evangelicalism occurs in nearly
Protestant denomination and tradition. The Reformed, Baptist,
Wesleyan, Pentecostal, Churches of Christ, Plymouth Brethren,
charismatic Protestant, and nondenominational
have all had strong influence within contemporary
Anabaptist denominations (such as the
Brethren Church) are evangelical, and some
as evangelicals. There are also evangelical Anglicans.
In the early 20th century, there was a decline of evangelical
influence within mainline
Protestantism and the development of
Christian fundamentalism as a distinct religious movement. During the
second half of the century, a mainstream evangelical consensus
developed that sought to be more inclusive and more culturally
relevant than fundamentalism, while maintaining conservative
Protestant teaching. According to Brian Stanley, professor of world
Christianity, this new postwar consensus is termed neo-evangelicalism,
the new evangelicalism, or simply evangelicalism in the United States,
while in the United Kingdom and in other English-speaking countries,
it is commonly termed conservative evangelicalism. Over the years,
less conservative evangelicals have challenged this mainstream
consensus to varying degrees. Such movements have been classified by a
variety of labels, such as progressive, open, post-conservative, and
Fundamentalism (sometimes known as conservative evangelicalism)
regards biblical inerrancy, the virgin birth of Jesus, penal
substitutionary atonement, the literal resurrection of Christ, and the
Second Coming of Christ
Second Coming of Christ as fundamental Christian doctrines.
Fundamentalism arose among evangelicals in the 1920s to combat
modernist or liberal theology in mainline
Protestant churches. Failing
to reform the mainline churches, fundamentalists separated from them
and established their own churches, refusing to participate in
ecumenical organizations such as the National Council of Churches.
They also made separatism (rigid separation from non-fundamentalist
churches and culture) a true test of faith. According to historian
George Marsden, most fundamentalists are
Prayer Book of 1662 included the
Thirty-Nine Articles emphasized
by evangelical Anglicans.
Mainstream evangelicalism is historically divided between two main
orientations: confessionalism and revivalism. These two streams have
been critical of each other. Confessional evangelicals have been
suspicious of unguarded religious experience, while revivalist
evangelicals have been critical of overly intellectual teaching that
(they suspect) stifles vibrant spirituality. In an effort to
broaden their appeal, many contemporary evangelical congregations
intentionally avoid identifying with any single form of
evangelicalism. These "generic evangelicals" are usually theologically
and socially conservative, but their churches often present themselves
as nondenominational within the broader evangelical movement.
In the words of Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist
Theological Seminary, confessional evangelicalism refers to "that
movement of Christian believers who seek a constant convictional
continuity with the theological formulas of the Protestant
Reformation". While approving of the evangelical distinctions proposed
by Bebbington, confessional evangelicals believe that authentic
evangelicalism requires more concrete definition in order to protect
the movement from theological liberalism and from heresy. According to
confessional evangelicals, subscription to the ecumenical creeds and
to the Reformation-era confessions of faith (such as the confessions
Reformed churches) provides such protection. Confessional
evangelicals are represented by conservative
(emphasizing the Westminster Confession), certain
that emphasize historic
Baptist confessions such as the Second London
Confession, evangelical Anglicans who emphasize the Thirty-Nine
Articles (such as in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, Australia),
and some confessional
Lutherans with pietistic convictions.
The emphasis on historic
Protestant orthodoxy among confessional
evangelicals stands in direct contrast to an anti-creedal outlook that
has exerted its own influence on evangelicalism, particularly among
churches strongly influenced by revivalism and by pietism. Revivalist
evangelicals are represented by some quarters of Methodism, the
Wesleyan Holiness churches, the Pentecostal/charismatic churches, some
Anabaptist churches, and some
Baptists and Presbyterians.
Revivalist evangelicals tend to place greater emphasis on religious
experience than their confessional counterparts.
Evangelicals dissatisfied with the movement's conservative mainstream
have been variously described as progressive evangelicals,
post-conservative evangelicals, Open Evangelicals and
post-evangelicals. Progressive evangelicals, also known as the
evangelical left, share theological or social views with other
progressive Christians, while also identifying with evangelicalism.
Progressive evangelicals commonly advocate for women's equality,
pacifism and social justice.
As described by
Baptist theologian Roger E. Olson, post-conservative
evangelicalism is a theological school of thought that adheres to the
four marks of evangelicalism, while being less rigid and more
inclusive of other Christians. According to Olson, post-conservatives
believe that doctrine and propositional truth is secondary to
spiritual experience shaped by Scripture. Post-conservative
evangelicals seek greater dialogue with other Christian traditions and
support the development of a multicultural evangelical theology that
incorporates the voices of women, racial minorities, and Christians in
the developing world. Some post-conservative evangelicals also support
open theism and the possibility of near universal salvation.
The term "Open Evangelical" refers to a particular Christian school of
thought or churchmanship, primarily in the United Kingdom (especially
in the Church of England). Open evangelicals describe their position
as combining a traditional evangelical emphasis on the nature of
scriptural authority, the teaching of the ecumenical creeds and other
traditional doctrinal teachings, with an approach towards culture and
other theological points-of-view which tends to be more inclusive than
that taken by other evangelicals. Some open evangelicals aim to take a
middle position between conservative and charismatic evangelicals,
while others would combine conservative theological emphases with more
liberal social positions.
British author Dave Tomlinson coined the phrase post-evangelical to
describe a movement comprising various trends of dissatisfaction among
evangelicals. Others use the term with comparable intent, often to
distinguish evangelicals in the so-called emerging church movement
from post-evangelicals and anti-evangelicals. Tomlinson argues that
"linguistically, the distinction [between evangelical and
post-evangelical] resembles the one that sociologists make between the
modern and postmodern eras".
Count von Zinzendorf
Count von Zinzendorf was a major influence on
John Wesley in founding
Evangelicalism did not take recognizable form until the 18th century,
first in Britain and its North American colonies. Nevertheless, there
were earlier developments within the larger
Protestant world that
preceded and influenced the later evangelical revivals. According to
religion scholar, social activist, and politician Randall Balmer,
Evangelicalism resulted "from the confluence of Pietism,
Presbyterianism, and the vestiges of Puritanism.
up the peculiar characteristics from each strain – warmhearted
spirituality from the Pietists (for instance), doctrinal precisionism
from the Presbyterians, and individualistic introspection from the
Mark Noll adds to this list High Church
Anglicanism, which contributed to
Evangelicalism a legacy of "rigorous
spirituality and innovative organization".
During the 17th century,
Pietism emerged in Europe as a movement for
the revival of piety and devotion within the
Lutheran church. As a
protest against "cold orthodoxy" or an overly formal and rational
Christianity, Pietists advocated for an experiential religion that
stressed high moral standards for both clergy and lay people. The
movement included both Christians who remained in the liturgical,
state churches as well as separatist groups who rejected the use of
baptismal fonts, altars, pulpits, and confessionals. As Pietism
spread, the movement's ideals and aspirations influenced and were
absorbed into early Evangelicalism.
Presbyterian heritage not only gave
Evangelicalism a commitment to
Protestant orthodoxy but also contributed a revival tradition that
stretched back to the 1620s in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Central to this tradition was the communion season, which normally
occurred in the summer months. For Presbyterians, celebrations of Holy
Communion were infrequent but popular events preceded by several
Sundays of preparatory preaching and accompanied with preaching,
singing, and prayers.
Calvinism with teaching that conversion was a
prerequisite for church membership and a stress on the study of
Scripture by lay people. It took root in New England, where the
Congregational church was an established religion. The Half-Way
Covenant of 1662 allowed parents who had not testified to a conversion
experience to have their children baptized, while reserving Holy
Communion for converted church members alone. By the 18th century,
Puritanism was in decline and many ministers were alarmed at the loss
of religious piety. This concern over declining religious commitment
led many people to support evangelical revival.
Anglicanism also exerted influence on early
Evangelicalism. High Churchmen were distinguished by their desire to
adhere to primitive Christianity. This desire included imitating the
faith and ascetic practices of early Christians as well as regularly
partaking of Holy Communion. High Churchmen were also enthusiastic
organizers of voluntary religious societies. Two of the most prominent
were the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, which distributed
Bibles and other literature and built schools, and the Society for the
Propagation of the
Gospel in Foreign Parts, which was created to
facilitate missionary work in British colonies. Samuel and Susanna
Wesley, the parents of John and Charles Wesley, were both devoted
advocates of High Churchmanship.
See also: First Great Awakening
Jonathan Edwards' account of the revival in Northampton was published
in 1737 as A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of
God in the
Conversion of Many Hundred Souls in Northampton
In the 1730s,
Evangelicalism emerged as a distinct phenomenon out of
religious revivals that began in Britain and New England. While
religious revivals had occurred within
Protestant churches in the
past, the evangelical revivals that marked the 18th century were more
intense and radical. Evangelical revivalism imbued ordinary men
and women with a confidence and enthusiasm for sharing the gospel and
converting others outside of the control of established churches, a
key discontinuity with the
Protestantism of the previous era.
It was developments in the doctrine of assurance that differentiated
Evangelicalism from what went before. Bebbington says, "The dynamism
of the Evangelical movement was possible only because its adherents
were assured in their faith." He goes on:
Puritans had held that assurance is rare, late and the
fruit of struggle in the experience of believers, the Evangelicals
believed it to be general, normally given at conversion and the result
of simple acceptance of the gift of God. The consequence of the
altered form of the doctrine was a metamorphosis in the nature of
popular Protestantism. There was a change in patterns of piety,
affecting devotional and practical life in all its departments. The
shift, in fact, was responsible for creating in
Evangelicalism a new
movement and not merely a variation on themes heard since the
The first local revival occurred in Northampton, Massachusetts, under
the leadership of Congregationalist minister Jonathan Edwards. In the
fall of 1734, Edwards preached a sermon series on "Justification By
Faith Alone", and the community's response was extraordinary. Signs of
religious commitment among the laity increased, especially among the
town's young people. The revival ultimately spread to 25 communities
in western Massachusetts and central Connecticut until it began to
wane by the spring of 1735. Edwards was heavily influenced by
Pietism, so much so that one historian has stressed his "American
Pietism." One practice clearly copied from European Pietists was
the use of small groups divided by age and gender, which met in
private homes to conserve and promote the fruits of revival.
At the same time, students at
Yale University (at that time Yale
College) in New Haven, Connecticut, were also experiencing revival.
Among them was Aaron Burr, Sr., who would become a prominent
Presbyterian minister and future president of Princeton University. In
New Jersey, Gilbert Tennent, another
Presbyterian minister, was
preaching the evangelical message and urging the
to stress the necessity of converted ministers.
The spring of 1735 also marked important events in England and Wales.
Howell Harris, a Welsh schoolteacher, had a conversion experience on
May 25 during a communion service. He described receiving assurance of
God's grace after a period of fasting, self-examination, and despair
over his sins. Sometime later, Daniel Rowland, the Anglican curate
of Llangeitho, Wales, experienced conversion as well. Both men began
preaching the evangelical message to large audiences, becoming leaders
of the Welsh
Methodist revival. At about the same time that Harris
experienced conversion in Wales,
George Whitefield was converted at
Oxford University after his own prolonged spiritual crisis. Whitefield
later remarked, "About this time
God was pleased to enlighten my soul,
and bring me into the knowledge of His free grace, and the necessity
of being justified in His sight by faith only".
When forbidden from preaching from the pulpits of parish churches,
John Wesley began open-air preaching in a move that preceded the
Holy Club member and spiritual mentor, Charles
Wesley, reported an evangelical conversion in 1738. In the same
week, Charles' brother and future founder of Methodism, John Wesley
was also converted after a long period of inward struggle. During this
John Wesley was directly influenced by Pietism. Two
years before his conversion, Wesley had traveled to the newly
established colony of Georgia as a missionary for the Society for
Promoting Christian Knowledge. He shared his voyage with a group of
Moravian Brethren led by August Gottlieb Spangenberg. The Moravians'
faith and piety deeply impressed Wesley, especially their belief that
it was a normal part of Christian life to have an assurance of one's
salvation. Wesley recounted the following exchange with
Spangenberg on February 7, 1736:
[Spangenberg] said, "My brother, I must first ask you one or two
questions. Have you the witness within yourself? Does the Spirit of
God bear witness with your spirit that you are a child of God?" I was
surprised, and knew not what to answer. He observed it, and asked, "Do
Jesus Christ?" I paused, and said, "I know he is the Savior
of the world." "True," he replied, "but do you know he has saved you?"
I answered, "I hope he has died to save me." He only added, "Do you
know yourself?" I said, "I do." But I fear they were vain words.
Wesley finally received the assurance he had been searching for at a
meeting of a religious society in London. While listening to a reading
from Martin Luther's preface to the Epistle to the Romans, Wesley felt
About a quarter before nine, while [the speaker] was describing the
God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my
heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for
salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my
sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.
Pietism continued to influence Wesley, who had translated 33 Pietist
hymns from German to English. Numerous German Pietist hymns became
part of the English Evangelical repertoire. By 1737, Whitefield
had become a national celebrity in England where his preaching drew
large crowds, especially in London where the
Fetter Lane Society had
become a center of evangelical activity. Whitfield joined forces
with Edwards to "fan the flame of revival" in the
Thirteen Colonies in
1739–40. Soon the First
Great Awakening stirred Protestants
Evangelical preachers emphasized personal salvation and piety more
than ritual and tradition. Pamphlets and printed sermons crisscrossed
the Atlantic, encouraging the revivalists. The Awakening resulted
from powerful preaching that gave listeners a sense of deep personal
revelation of their need of salvation by
Jesus Christ. Pulling away
from ritual and ceremony, the
Great Awakening made Christianity
intensely personal to the average person by fostering a deep sense of
spiritual conviction and redemption, and by encouraging introspection
and a commitment to a new standard of personal morality. It reached
people who were already church members. It changed their rituals,
their piety and their self-awareness. To the evangelical imperatives
Reformation Protestantism, 18th century American Christians added
emphases on divine outpourings of the Holy Spirit and conversions that
implanted within new believers an intense love for God. Revivals
encapsulated those hallmarks and forwarded the newly created
Evangelicalism into the early republic.
The start of the 19th century saw an increase in missionary work and
many of the major missionary societies were founded around this time
(see Timeline of Christian missions). Both the Evangelical and high
church movements sponsored missionaries.
Great Awakening (which actually began in 1790) was
primarily an American revivalist movement and resulted in substantial
growth of the
Baptist churches. Charles Grandison Finney
was an important preacher of this period.
William Wilberforce was a politician, philanthropist and an
evangelical Anglican, who led the movement to abolish slave trade in
the United Kingdom.
In Britain in addition to stressing the traditional Wesleyan
combination of "Bible, cross, conversion, and activism," the
revivalist movement sought a universal appeal, hoping to include rich
and poor, urban and rural, and men and women.
Special efforts were
made to attract children and to generate literature to spread the
"Christian conscience" was used by the British Evangelical movement to
promote social activism. Evangelicals believed activism in government
and the social sphere was an essential method in reaching the goal of
eliminating sin in a world drenched in wickedness. The
Evangelicals in the
Clapham Sect included figures such as William
Wilberforce who successfully campaigned for the abolition of slavery.
In the late 19th century, the revivalist Holiness movement, based on
the doctrine of "entire sanctification," took a more extreme form in
rural America and Canada, where it ultimately broke away from
institutional Methodism. In urban Britain the Holiness message was
less exclusive and censorious.
John Nelson Darby
John Nelson Darby of the
Plymouth Brethren was a 19th-century Irish
Anglican minister who devised modern dispensationalism, an innovative
Protestant theological interpretation of the
Bible that was
incorporated in the development of modern Evangelicalism. Cyrus
Scofield further promoted the influence of dispensationalism through
the explanatory notes to his Scofield Reference Bible. According to
scholar Mark S. Sweetnam, who takes a cultural studies perspective,
dispensationalism can be defined in terms of its Evangelicalism, its
insistence on the literal interpretation of Scripture, its recognition
of stages in God's dealings with humanity, its expectation of the
imminent return of Christ to rapture His saints, and its focus on both
apocalypticism and premillennialism.
Notable figures of the latter half of the 19th century include Charles
Spurgeon in London and
Dwight L. Moody
Dwight L. Moody in Chicago. Their powerful
preaching reached very large audiences.
An advanced theological perspective came from the Princeton
theologians from the 1850s to the 1920s, such as Charles Hodge,
Archibald Alexander and B.B. Warfield.
Services at the
Pentecostal Church of
God in Lejunior, Kentucky, 1946
After 1910 the Fundamentalist movement dominated
Evangelicalism in the
early part of the 20th century; the Fundamentalists rejected liberal
theology and emphasized the inerrancy of the Scriptures.
Following the 1904–1905 Welsh revival, the
Azusa Street Revival
Azusa Street Revival in
1906 began the spread of
Pentecostalism in North America.
In the post–World War II period a split developed between
Evangelicals as they disagreed among themselves about how individual
Christians ought to respond to an unbelieving world. Many[quantify]
Evangelicals urged that Christians must engage "the culture" directly
and constructively, and they began to express reservations about
being known to the world as fundamentalists. As
Kenneth Kantzer put it
at the time, the name fundamentalist had become "an embarrassment
instead of a badge of honor".
The evangelical revivalist
Billy Graham in Duisburg, Germany, 1954
Harold Ockenga coined the term neo-evangelicalism to identify
a distinct movement within self-identified fundamentalist Christianity
at the time, especially in the English-speaking world. It described
the mood of positivism and non-militancy that characterized that
generation. The new generation of Evangelicals set as their goal to
abandon a militant
Bible stance. Instead, they would pursue dialogue,
intellectualism, non-judgmentalism, and appeasement. They further
called for an increased application of the gospel to sociological,
political, and economic areas.
The self-identified fundamentalists also cooperated in separating
their "neo-Evangelical" opponents from the fundamentalist name, by
increasingly seeking to distinguish themselves from the more open
group, whom they often characterized derogatorily by Ockenga's term,
"neo-Evangelical" or just "Evangelical".
The fundamentalists saw the Evangelicals as often being too concerned
about social acceptance and intellectual respectability, and being too
accommodating to a perverse generation that needed correction. In
addition, they saw the efforts of evangelist Billy Graham, who worked
with non-Evangelical denominations, such as the Roman Catholics (whom
fundamentalists saw as heretical), as a mistake.
The post-war period also saw growth of the ecumenical movement and the
founding of the World Council of Churches, which the Evangelical
community generally regarded with suspicion.
In the United Kingdom,
John Stott (1921–2011) and Martyn Lloyd-Jones
(1899–1981) emerged as key leaders in Evangelical Christianity.
The charismatic movement began in the 1960s and resulted in the
Pentecostal theology and practice into many mainline
denominations. New charismatic groups such as the Association of
Vineyard Churches and
Newfrontiers trace their roots to this period
(see also British New Church Movement).
The closing years of the 20th century saw controversial postmodern
influences entering some parts of Evangelicalism, particularly with
the emerging church movement.[clarification needed]
Universal Church of the Kingdom of
God service in Russia.
According to a 2011
Pew Forum study on global Christianity,
285,480,000 or 13.1 percent of all Christians are Evangelicals.:17
These figures do not include the Evangelical movements Pentecostalism
and Charismatic movement; 584,080,000. The study states that the
category "Evangelicals" should not be considered as a separate
category of "
Pentecostal and Charismatic" categories, since some
believers consider themselves in both movements where their church is
affiliated with an Evangelical association.:18
In 2015, the
World Evangelical Alliance is "a network of churches in
129 nations that have each formed an Evangelical alliance and over 100
international organizations joining together to give a world-wide
identity, voice, and platform to more than 600 million Evangelical
Christians". The Alliance was formed in 1951 by Evangelicals
from 21 countries. It has worked to support its members to work
Sébastien Fath of CNRS, in 2016, there are 619 million
Evangelicals in the world, one in four Christians. In 2017, about
630 million, an increase of 11 million, including
Operation World estimates the number of Evangelicals at 550
million. From 1960 to 2000, the global growth of the number of
reported Evangelicals grew three times the world's population rate,
and twice that of Islam.
In the 21st century, there are Evangelical churches active in Sudan,
Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Ghana, Kenya,
Zambia, South Africa, and Nigeria. They have grown especially since
independence came in the 1960s, the strongest movements are based
on Pentecostal-charismatic[clarification needed] beliefs, and comprise
a way of life that has led to upward social mobility[dubious –
discuss] and demands for democracy. There is a wide
range of theology and organizations, including some sponsored by
European missionaries and others that have emerged from African
culture[dubious – discuss] such as the Apostolic and Zionist
Churches which enlist 40% of black South Africans, and their Aladura
counterparts in western Africa.[page needed]
In Nigeria the Evangelical Church Winning All (formerly "Evangelical
Church of West Africa") is the largest church organization with five
thousand congregations and over three million members. It sponsors two
seminaries and eight
Bible colleges, and 1600 missionaries who serve
in Nigeria and other countries with the Evangelical
(EMS). There have been serious confrontations since 1999 between
Muslims and Evangelical Christians standing in opposition to the
expansion of Sharia law in northern Nigeria. The confrontation has
radicalized and politicized the Christians. Violence has been
In Kenya, mainstream Evangelical denominations have taken the
lead[dubious – discuss] in promoting political activism and backers,
with the smaller Evangelical sects of less importance. Daniel arap Moi
was president 1978 to 2002 and claimed to be an Evangelical; he proved
intolerant of dissent or pluralism or decentralization of power.
Missionary Society (BMS) was one of four German Protestant
mission societies active in South Africa before 1914. It emerged from
the German tradition of
Pietism after 1815 and sent its first
missionaries to South Africa in 1834. There were few positive reports
in the early years, but it was especially active 1859–1914. It was
especially strong in the Boer republics. The World War cut off contact
with Germany, but the missions continued at a reduced pace. After 1945
the missionaries had to deal with decolonisation across Africa and
especially with the apartheid government. At all times the BMS
emphasized spiritual inwardness, and values such as morality, hard
work and self-discipline. It proved unable to speak and act decisively
against injustice and racial discrimination and was disbanded in
Since 1974, young professionals have been the active proselytizers of
Evangelicalism in the cities of Malawi.
In Mozambique, Evangelical
Christianity emerged around 1900
from black migrants whose converted previously in South Africa. They
were assisted by European missionaries, but, as industrial workers,
they paid for their own churches and proselytizing. They prepared
southern Mozambique for the spread of Evangelical Protestantism.
During its time as a colonial power in Mozambique, the Catholic
Portuguese government tried to counter the spread of Evangelical
East African Revival
Main article: East African Revival
East African Revival was a renewal movement within Evangelical
churches in East Africa during the late 1920s and 1930s that began
at a Church
Missionary Society mission station in the Belgian
Ruanda-Urundi in 1929, and spread to: Uganda, Tanzania
and Kenya during the 1930s and 1940s contributing to the significant
growth of the church in East Africa through the 1970s and had a
visible influence on Western missionaries who were
observer-participants of the movement.[page needed]
In modern Latin America, the term "Evangelical" is often simply a
synonym for "Protestant".
Protestantism in Brazil
Temple of Solomon replica built by the Universal Church of the Kingdom
God in São Paulo
Protestantism in Brazil largely originated with German immigrants and
British and American missionaries in the 19th century, following up on
efforts that began in the 1820s.
In the late nineteenth century, while the vast majority of Brazilians
were nominal Catholics, the nation was underserved by priests, and for
large numbers their religion was only nominal. The
Catholic Church in
Brazil was de-established in 1890, and responded by increasing the
number of dioceses and the efficiency of its clergy. Many Protestants
came from a large German immigrant community, but they were seldom
engaged in proselytism and grew mostly by natural increase.
Methodists were active along with Presbyterians and Baptists. The
Scottish missionary Dr. Robert Reid Kalley, with support from the Free
Church of Scotland, moved to Brazil in 1855, founding the first
Evangelical church among the Portuguese-speaking population there in
1856. It was organized according to the Congregational policy as the
Igreja Evangélica Fluminense; it became the mother church of
Congregationalism in Brazil. The Seventh-day Adventists arrived in
1894, and the YMCA was organized in 1896. The missionaries promoted
schools colleges and seminaries, including a liberal arts college in
São Paulo, later known as Mackenzie, and an agricultural school in
Presbyterian schools in particular later became the
nucleus of the governmental system. In 1887
Protestants in Rio de
Janeiro formed a hospital. The missionaries largely reached a
working-class audience, as the Brazilian upper-class was wedded either
to Catholicism or to secularism. By 1914,
Protestant churches founded
by American missionaries had 47,000 communicants, served by 282
missionaries. In general, these missionaries were more successful than
they had been in Mexico, Argentina or elsewhere in Latin America.
God building in Brazil
There were 700,000
Protestants by 1930, and increasingly they were in
charge of their own affairs. In 1930, the
Methodist Church of Brazil
became independent of the missionary societies and elected its own
Protestants were largely from a working-class, but their
religious networks help speed their upward social mobility.
Protestants accounted for fewer than 5% of the population until the
1960s, but grew exponentially by proselytizing and by 2000 made up
over 15% of Brazilians affiliated with a church. Pentecostals and
charismatic groups account for the vast majority of this expansion.
Pentecostal missionaries arrived early in the 20th century.
Pentecostal conversions surged during the 1950s and 1960s, when native
Brazilians began founding autonomous churches. The most influential
included Brasil Para o Cristo (Brazil for Christ), founded in 1955 by
Manoel de Mello. With an emphasis on personal salvation, on God's
healing power, and on strict moral codes these groups have developed
broad appeal, particularly among the booming urban migrant
communities. In Brazil, since the mid-1990's, groups committed to
uniting black identity, antiracism, and Evangelical theology have
Pentecostalism arrived in Brazil with
Swedish and American missionaries in 1911. it grew rapidly, but
endured numerous schisms and splits. In some areas the Evangelical
God churches have taken a leadership role in politics
since the 1960s. They claimed major credit for the election of
Fernando Collor de Mello
Fernando Collor de Mello as president of Brazil in 1990.
According to the 2000 Census, 15.4% of the Brazilian population was
Protestant. A recent research conducted by the Datafolha institute
shows that 25% of Brazilians are Protestants, of which 19% are
Pentecostal denominations. The 2010 Census found out that
Protestant at that date.
Protestant denominations saw a
rapid growth in their number of followers since the last decades of
the 20th century. They are politically and socially conservative,
and emphasize that God's favor translates into business success.
The rich and the poor remained traditional Catholics, while most
Protestants were in the new lower-middle class–known as
the "C class" (in a A–E classification system).
Chesnut argues that
Pentecostalism has become "one of the principal
organizations of the poor," for these churches provide the sort of
social network that teach members the skills they need to thrive in a
rapidly developing meritocratic society.
One large Evangelical church that originated from Brasil is the
Universal Church of the Kingdom of
God (IURD), a neo‐Pentecostal
denomination begun in 1977. It now has a presence in many countries,
and claims millions of members worldwide.
Religion in Guatemala
Cash Luna, an evangelical
Protestant televangelist in Guatemala
Protestants remained a small portion of the population until the
late-twentieth century, when various
Protestant groups experienced a
demographic boom that coincided with the increasing violence of the
Guatemalan Civil War. Two former Guatemalan heads of state, General
Efraín Ríos Montt
Efraín Ríos Montt and
Jorge Serrano Elías have been practicing
Evangelical Protestants, as is Guatemala's current President, Jimmy
Morales. General Montt, an Evangelical from the Pentecostal
tradition, came to power through a coup. He escalated the war against
leftist guerilla insurgents as a holy war against atheistic "forces of
American pastor Johannes Maas preaching in
Andhra Pradesh, India
Andhra Pradesh, India in
1974. Spreading the revival is an essential part of work done by
Christianity in Korea
Protestant missionary activity in Asia was most successful in Korea.
American Presbyterians and Methodists arrived in the 1880s and were
well received. Between 1910 and 1945, when Korea was a Japanese
Christianity became in part an expression of nationalism in
opposition to Japan's efforts to promote the Japanese language and the
Shinto religion. In 1914, out of 16 million people, there were
Protestants and 79,000 Catholics; by 1934, the numbers were
168,000 and 147,000.
Presbyterian missionaries were especially
successful. Since the Korean War (1950–53), many Korean
Christians have migrated to the U.S., while those who remained behind
have risen sharply in social and economic status. Most Korean
Protestant churches in the 21st century emphasize their Evangelical
Protestantism is characterized by theological
conservatism[clarification needed] coupled with an emotional
revivalistic[clarification needed] style. Most churches sponsor
revival meetings once or twice a year.
Missionary work is a high
priority, with 13,000 men and women serving in missions across the
world, putting Korea in second place just behind the US.
Sukman argues that since 1945,
Protestantism has been widely seen by
Koreans as the religion of the middle class, youth, intellectuals,
urbanites, and modernists. It has been a powerful
force[dubious – discuss] supporting South Korea's pursuit of
modernity and emulation[dubious – discuss] of the United States, and
opposition to the old Japanese colonialism and to the authoritarianism
of North Korea.
South Korea has been referred as an "evangelical superpower" for being
the home to some of the largest and most dynamic Christian churches in
the world; South Korea is also second to the U.S. in the number of
missionaries sent abroad.
According to 2015 South Korean census, 9.7 million or 19.7% of
the population described themselves as Protestants, many of whom
Presbyterian churches shaped by Evangelicalism.[citation
Evangelicalism in the Philippines
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June
Evangelicalism is a minor Christian denominations in the Philippines.
According to the 2010 census, 2.68% of the Filipino Population are
Evangelicals. However 2010 data such as Operation World and Joshua
Project estimate the evangelical population to be at most 13% of the
Further information: Methodism, Clapham Sect, and Conservative
Evangelicalism in Britain
John Wesley (1703–1791) was an Anglican cleric and theologian who,
with his brother
Charles Wesley (1707–1788) and fellow cleric George
Whitefield (1714 – 1770), founded Methodism. After 1791 the movement
became independent of the Anglican Church as the "Methodist
Connection." It became a force in its own right, especially among the
Clapham Sect was a group of
Church of England
Church of England evangelicals and
social reformers based in Clapham, London; they were active
John Newton (1725–1807) was the founder. They are
described by the historian Stephen Tomkins as "a network of friends
and families in England, with
William Wilberforce as its centre of
gravity, who were powerfully bound together by their shared moral and
spiritual values, by their religious mission and social activism, by
their love for each other, and by marriage".
Evangelicalism was a major force in the Anglican Church from about
1800 to the 1860s. By 1848 when an evangelical
John Bird Sumner
John Bird Sumner became
Archbishop of Canterbury, between a quarter and a third of all
Anglican clergy were linked to the movement, which by then had
diversified greatly in its goals and they were no longer considered an
In the 21st century there are an estimated 2 million Evangelicals in
the UK. According to research performed by the Evangelical
Alliance in 2013, 87% of UK evangelicals attend Sunday morning church
services every week and 63% attend weekly or fortnightly small
groups. An earlier survey conducted in 2012 found that 92% of
evangelicals agree it is a Christian's duty to help those in poverty
and 45% attend a church which has a fund or scheme that helps people
in immediate need, and 42% go to a church that supports or runs a
foodbank. 63% believe a tithing, and so give around 10% of their
income to their church, Christian organisations and various
charities 83% of UK evangelicals believe that the
supreme authority in guiding their beliefs, views and behaviour and
52% read or listen to the
Bible daily. The Evangelical Alliance,
formed in 1846, was the first ecumenical evangelical body in the world
and works to unite evangelicals, helping them listen to, and be heard
by, the government, media and society.
Evangelicalism in the United States
The Call rally in 2008, Washington, D.C..
United States Capitol
United States Capitol in the
Socially conservative evangelical
Protestantism plays a major role in
Bible Belt, an area covering almost all of the Southern United
States. Evangelicals form a majority in the region.
By the late 19th to early 20th century, most American
Evangelicals. A divide had arisen between the more liberal-modernist
mainline denominations and the fundamentalist denominations, the
latter typically consisting of Evangelicals.
During and after World War II, Evangelicals became increasingly
organized. There was a great expansion of Evangelical activity within
the United States, "a revival of revivalism."
Youth for Christ was
formed; it later became the base for Billy Graham's revivals. The
National Association of Evangelicals
National Association of Evangelicals formed in 1942 as a counterpoise
to the mainline Federal Council of Churches. In 1942–43, the
Old-Fashioned Revival Hour had a record-setting national radio
According to a
Pew Forum on
Religion and Public Life study,
Evangelicals can be broadly divided into three camps: traditionalist,
centrist, and modernist. A 2004 Pew survey identified
Evangelicals as 26.3 percent of the population, while Catholics make
up 22 percent and mainline
Protestants make up 16 percent.
Evangelicals have been socially active throughout US history, a
tradition dating back to the abolitionist movement of the Antebellum
period and the prohibition movement. As a group, evangelicals are
most often associated with the Christian right. However, a large
number of black self-labeled Evangelicals, and a small proportion of
liberal white self-labeled Evangelicals, gravitate towards the
Recurrent themes within American Evangelical discourse include
abortion, the creation–evolution controversy,
secularism, and the notion of the United States as a Christian
Child evangelism movement
Christian eschatological views
Evangelicalism in Britain
Criticism of Protestantism
Evangelical Council of Venezuela
Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
List of evangelical Christians
List of evangelical seminaries and theological colleges
National Association of Evangelicals
World Evangelical Alliance
^ Primarily in the United States, where
Protestants are usually placed
in one of two categories – mainline or evangelical.
^ A flexible term; defined as all forms of
Protestantism with the
notable exception of the historical denominations deriving from the
^ The Concise Oxford Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 1978.
^ Operation World
^ How Many Evangelicals Are There?, Wheaton College: Institute for the
Study of American Evangelicals, archived from the original on
^ Mark Juergensmeyer,
Religion in Global Civil Society, University of
California, Santa Barbara
^ William Danker, Frederick A (1957). A Greek-English Lexicon of the
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University of Chicago Press.
^ a b Noll 2004, pp. 16.
^ Johnson, Phil (2009-03-16). "The History of Evangelicalism". Pulpit
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^ Livingstone, Elizabeth A (2005). The Oxford Dictionary of the
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^ Gerstner, John H. (1975). "The Theological Boundaries of Evangelical
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Despite the dominant usage of euangellismos in the New Testament, its
derivative, evangelical, was not widely or controversially employed
Reformation period. Then it came into prominence with Martin
Luther precisely because he reasserted Paul's teaching on the
euangellismos as the indispensable message of salvation. Its light, he
argued, was hidden under a bushel of ecclesiastical authority,
tradition, and liturgy. The essence of the saving message for Luther
was justification by faith alone, the article by which not only the
church stands or falls but each individual as well. Erasmus, Thomas
Johannes Eck denigrated those who accepted this view and
referred to them as 'evangelicals.'
^ Marsden 1991, pp. 2.
^ Bebbington 1993, pp. 1.
^ Worthen 2014, p. 273.
^ Gove, Philip Babcock, ed. (1971). Webster's Third New International
Dictionary of the English Language. Springfield, MA: G & C
Merriam. ISBN 978-0-87779-101-0. evangelical [...] 5 [...]
characterized by or reflecting a missionary, reforming, or redeeming
impulse or purpose [...] the rise and fall of evangelical fervor [sic]
within the Socialist movement – Time Lit. Supp.>
^ Trueman 2011, pp. 14.
^ Bebbington 1993, pp. 3.
^ Bebbington 1993, pp. 5–8.
^ Bebbington 1993, pp. 12–14.
^ Bebbington 1993, pp. 15–16.
^ Bebbington 1993, pp. 12.
^ Mohler 2011, pp. 117.
^ Brian Stiller, Evangelicals Around the World: A Global Handbook for
the 21st Century, Thomas Nelson, USA, 2015, p. 28, 90
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connotations: 'By what term would "fundamentalists" prefer to be
called? The term favoured at present, at least in Great Britain, is
^ Bauder 2011, pp. 30–32.
^ Marsden 1991, pp. 3–4.
^ a b Olson 2011, pp. 241–242.
^ Reimer 2003, pp. 29.
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^ Stanley 2013, pp. 58.
^ Ellingsen 1991, pp. 222, 238.
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^ Tomlinson 2007, p. 28.
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^ Noll 2004, pp. 50.
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^ Noll 2004, pp. 44, 112.
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^ Noll 2004, pp. 46–47.
^ Noll 2004, pp. 66–67.
^ Noll 2004, pp. 76.
^ Bebbington 1993, pp. 74.
^ Bebbington 1993, pp. 42.
^ Bebbington 1993, pp. 43.
^ Noll 2004, pp. 76–78.
^ Lovelace 2007.
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^ Noll 2004, pp. 81–82.
^ Noll 2004, pp. 79.
^ a b c Bebbington 1993, pp. 20.
^ Noll 2004, pp. 79–80.
^ Noll 2004, pp. 84.
^ Noll 2004, pp. 85.
^ Noll 2004, pp. 97.
^ Shantz 2013, pp. 279–280.
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History, Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster
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Pietism of Cotton Mather:
Origins of American Evangelicalism, Wipf & Stock
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God on Our Side: The Rise of the
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Andrew; Hansen, Collin, Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism,
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Noll, Mark A. (2004), The Rise of Evangelicalism: The Age of Edwards,
Whitefield and the Wesleys, Inter-Varsity,
Olson, Roger (2011), "Postconservative Evangelicalism", in Naselli,
Andrew; Hansen, Collin, Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism,
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——— (2000), Blessed Assurance: A History of
Bastian, Jean-Pierre (1994), Le Protestantisme en Amérique latine:
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Protestantism in Latin America: a
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Beale, David O (1986), In Pursuit of Purity: American Fundamentalism
Since 1850, Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University: Unusual,
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Carpenter, Joel A. (1980), "Fundamentalist Institutions and the Rise
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——— (1999), Revive Us Again: The Reawakening of American
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Post-World War II to Vatican II," U.S. Catholic Historian, 33#1
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Latin America, Cambridge University Press,
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Hindmarsh, Bruce (2005), The Evangelical Conversion Narrative:
Spiritual Autobiography in Early Modern England, Oxford: Oxford
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Christianity in Colonial America,
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Special Reference to the XVII and XVIII Centuries, Oxford, Eng:
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Evangelical Relationship with God, Knopf
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——— (1987), Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller Seminary and the
New Evangelicalism, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans .
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Christianity in the United States
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Evangelicalism in Australia, Britain, Canada, and the United
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Evangelicalism From the Postwar Revival to the New Christian Right, U.
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1940s to the 1990s that examines how a diverse, politically
pluralistic movement became, largely, the Christian Right.
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Revivalism and Social Reform: American
Protestantism on the Eve of the Civil War .
Stackhouse, John G (1993), Canadian
Evangelicalism in the Twentieth
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Utzinger, J. Michael (2006), Yet Saints Their Watch Are Keeping:
Fundamentalists, Modernists, and the Development of Evangelical
Ecclesiology, 1887–1937, Macon: Mercer University Press,
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Methodism and the
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Christianity?, series on Evangelical
Christianity in America, Patheos
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missions, Simon & Schuster Macmillan .
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Religious Condition of the People (Google Books) , 792 pp.
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Changing Face of World Missions: Engaging Contemporary Issues and
Trends ; 391 pp.
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1810–1914: Theology, Theory, and Policy . 349 pp; important
essays by scholars.
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Conquest, and Conversion: Two Thousand Years of Christian Missions in
the Middle East, Columbia University Press , 280 pp; focus on the
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——— (1988), Guardians of the Great Commission .
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Institute for the Study of American Evangelicalism, Wheaton
Spencer, Michael (March 10, 2009), "The Coming Evangelical Collapse",
The Christian Science Monitor .
Modern Evangelical African Theologians: A Primer, Need not fret .
Evangelicalism and Islam: From the Antichrist to the Mahdi,
Germany: Qantara .
Operation World – Statistics from around the world including
numbers of Evangelicals by country.
World Evangelical Alliance (WEA)
FULLER Magazine Issue No. 2 – Evangelical – An exploration
of what it means to be Evangelical
History of Christianity
Centuries:1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th
15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st
Ministry of Jesus
and Apostolic Age
Paul the Apostle
Council of Jerusalem
Councils: Nicaea I
Church of the East
Fall of Constantinople
Bernard of Clairvaux
Vatican I and II
Diet of Worms
Book of Concord
Three Forms of Unity
First Great Awakening
Neo- and Old Lutherans
Independent Catholic denominations
Second Great Awakening
Third Great Awakening
Genocide by ISIL
Jesus in Christianity
Son of God
History of theology
Oriental Orthodox (Miaphysite)
Assyrian Church of the East
Assyrian Church of the East ("Nestorian")
Eastern Catholic Churches
Latter Day Saint movement
Major religious groups
Major religious groups and religious denominations
Eastern Catholic Churches
Church of the East
Assyrian Church of the East
Nation of Islam
Fon and Ewe
Apostasy / Disaffiliation
National religiosity levels
Irreligion by country
Separation of church and state
New religious movements
Religions and spiritual traditions