March 1, 2024 • Jeremy Koering

2024 Christian Missionary Statistics

See the latest 2024 Christian missionary statistics and trends.

Christian Missionary Statistics – Andy Ziesemer serving in Pakistan

One of our top priorities at Nations Outreach is to send and support Christian missionaries into the nations. Over the last decade, we’ve seen a massive change to Christian missionary work, reflecting socio-political changes and cultural shifts around the globe.

In this post, I’ll show you the latest 2024 Christian missionary statistics and data. In these numbers, you’ll see how the mission field has changed over the last couple of decades, and where there are positive signs of growth.

World Population

There are over 8.1 billion people in the world today, according to the Worldometer.

Top 10 Most Populous Countries (as of February 2024):

  1. India – 1.4+ Billion
  2. China – 1.4+ Billion
  3. United States – 340+ Million
  4. Indonesia – 278+ Million
  5. Pakistan – 243+ Million
  6. Nigeria – 227+ Million
  7. Brazil – 217+ Million
  8. Bangladesh – 174+ Million
  9. Russia – 144+ Million
  10. Mexico – 129+ Million

World Religions

Based on a study of the world’s population in the 2010’s, Pew Research estimated the world’s religions as:

  • 2,173,180,000 Christians (31% of world population), of which 50% are Catholic, 37% Protestant, 12% Orthodox, and 1% other.
  • 1,598,510,000 Muslims (23%), of which 87-90% are Sunnis, 10-13% Shia.
  • 1,126,500,000 No Religion affiliation (16%): atheists, agnostics and people who do not identify with any particular religion.
  • 1,033,080,000 Hindus (15%)
  • 487,540,000 Buddhists (7%)
  • 405,120,000 Folk Religionists (6%): faiths that are closely associated with a particular group of people, ethnicity or tribe.
  • 58,110,000 Other Religions (1%): Baha’i faith, Taoism, Jainism, Shintoism, Sikhism, Tenrikyo, Wicca, Zoroastrianism and others.
  • 13,850,000 Jews (0.2%)

Evangelical Christians

There’s an estimated 285,480,000 evangelical Christians in the world. An additional 584 million are Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians.

20% Don’t Have Bibles

One in five people on earth do not have a bible in their own language.

Unreached People

It’s estimated by Joshua Project that 42% of the world’s population (3-4 billion people) have never heard of Jesus or his gospel.

Unreached People Groups

There’s an estimated 17,311 people groups in the world. An estimated 7,290 people groups are defined as “unreached”. An unreached people group is defined as “there is no indigenous community of believing Christians able to engage this people group with church planting.” 6,013 of those unreached people groups are in the 10/40 Window.

Map of the 10/40 Window
Map of the 10/40 Window

The 10/40 Window

The majority of unreached people live in the 10/40 Window. The 10/40 Window was created in 1990 by Luis Bush of Partners International.

The 10/40 Window is in the eastern hemisphere between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator. From West Africa across Asia, there are over 5.33 billion people.

96.6% of unreached people are in the 10/40 Window. That is over 3.2 billion people.

One of the primary reasons why is 60% of the countries in the 10/40 Window are closed to North American missionaries. This requires partnerships with local ministry partners to share the Gospel like we have in Pakistan and Kosovo.

Missionary Statistics

Missionary statistics show a steady decline in missionaries and ministries around the world over the last couple of decades.

430,000 Missionaries

In 2021, there’s an estimated 430,000 Christian missionaries on the field full-time. In the study, a missionary was defined as someone serving over two years as a self-described Christian missionary. This includes Catholics, Protestants, and other denominations. This number is down sharply from 1,135,000 missionaries in 2001.

71% Leave For Preventable Reasons

An estimated 12,000 missionaries leave the field each year—71% leave for preventable reasons.

Nearly 50% serve 5 Years or less

A staggering 47% of missionaries leave the field within the first five years. At Nations Outreach, many missionaries tell us that they struggle to stay connected to their home church and supporter base.

Which Countries Need Missionaries?

At Nations Outreach, we believe all countries need missionaries. However, the most significant need is in the 10/40 Window

This is a list of the top 10 unreached populations, according to the Joshua Project in 2024:

  1. India – 1,352,947,000
  2. Pakistan – 236,972,000
  3. Indonesia – 193,937,000
  4. Bangladesh – 172,173,000
  5. China – 140,553,000
  6. Japan – 120,652,000
  7. Iran – 88,612,000
  8. Turkey – 85,014,000
  9. Nigeria – 68,296,000
  10. Thailand – 61,585,000

Want to get involved with missions?

Don’t miss the chance to join what God is doing around the world. At Nations Outreach, we support missionaries and ministry partners serving on the ground. If you want to get involved with missions here’s how you can help:

Make A Donation: You can make a tax deductible donation to Nations Outreach. Your gift will be used to share the Gospel, care for missionaries, and tell their stories.

Become A Missionary: If you feel called to the missions field, join our dedicated team of missionaries and be the hands and feet of Jesus. Submit an application here to take the first step toward an adventure filled with purpose.

Join The Newsletter: Every week, we share stories from the missions field, prayer requests, and updates from our missionaries and ministry partners. Subscribe to our newsletter to see what God is doing.

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