Spirit-Empowered Christianity is one of the fastest growing global movements, new study shows

February 25, 2020

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Oral Roberts University and the Empowered21 Network release research on the pentecostal and charismatic movements

TULSA, Okla.  — “Introducing Spirit-Empowered Christianity: The Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Movement in the 21st Century,” a new study conducted by Professor of Global Christianity and Director of the Center for Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Dr. Todd Johnson, reveals surprising statistics on not only the unprecedented numerical growth of the Spirit-Empowered Church but in which countries the movement is expanding most rapidly.

The groundbreaking study was funded by Empowered21 (E21), a relational leadership network housed at Oral Roberts University (ORU) that is helping shape the future of the Spirit-empowered movement throughout the world. Johnson revealed the findings at a public ORU event on Feb. 24 for the first time and will soon present the study before a global gathering of believers.

“While there are many ways to consider the Spirit-empowered movement as a whole, this study focuses on the commonality of the empowerment that comes with the baptism of the Holy Spirit,” said Johnson.

In gathering information on the spread of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity around the world since 1900, Johnson unfolded myriad statistics on its explosive growth in addition to surprising projections for the coming decades, which include:

  • From 1900-2020, Spirit-Empowered Christianity grew at nearly four times the growth rate of both Christianity and the world’s population;
  • Currently, Spirit-Empowered believers comprise one quarter of the entire Christian community, which is expected to grow to one third by the year 2050;
  • Asia and Oceania experienced the most rapid growth of Spirit-Empowered Christianity. However, the Spirit-Empowered population in Africa is expected to grow more quickly within the next 30 years;
  • Today, the countries with the most Spirit-Empowered Christians are Brazil, the United States and Nigeria, whereas, in 1900, the nations with the most were South Africa, Nigeria and the United States; and
  • Afghanistan and Cambodia, where Christianity remains relatively new, are the countries currently experiencing the fastest upsurge in Spirit-Empowered Christianity

Johnson will fully unfold all discoveries from the study with an international audience and panel of leaders of the Spirit-Empowered Church movement from around the world at the upcoming E21 Jerusalem2020 event. A global gathering to take place in Jerusalem May 31 – June 3, Jerusalem2020 will be both an opportunity to hear from Johnson and a diverse array of church leaders about what is happening among Spirit-empowered believers around the world, and to experience Pentecost in the Holy Land.

“Though these findings represent just a mere sample of the discoveries documented in the study, these numbers give us an inspiring glimpse into how much the Spirit-Empowered Church is growing, which fuels our hope and joy in what God is doing around the world through the power of the Holy Spirit,” said President of ORU and Global Co-Chair for E21 Dr. Billy Wilson. “While this information is encouraging, it also reminds us of how much work there is left to be done in fulfilling the Great Commission.”


About Empowered21
Empowered21 is a global Spirit-filled movement working to connect the generations for blessing, impartation and a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the 21st century. To learn more, visit https://empowered21.com/.

About Oral Roberts University
Oral Roberts University (ORU) is a world-renowned Christian university located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Founded in 1963, ORU serves students from 50 states and 115 countries, representing over 51 denominations. ORU offers 77 undergraduate majors, 65 undergraduate minors, 14 master’s programs and four doctoral degrees, plus NCAA Division I athletics. For more information on ORU, visit https://oru.edu/.

About Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary combines a rich tradition with cutting-edge educational innovation. Rooted in the gospel and God’s Word, the seminary seeks to develop Christian leaders who are thoughtful, globally aware, spiritually mature and ready for a broad array of ministries. Servicing students representing more than 85 denominations and 50 different countries, Gordon-Conwell is a multi-campus university that seeks to meet a diverse array of student needs. To learn more, visit https://www.gordonconwell.edu/about/.


Heidi McDow
[email protected]
(972) 267-1111

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