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Asia: A growing Christian community


New Delhi, 1961 © WCC Archives
New Delhi, 1961 © WCC Archives

With the exception of the Philippines and Timor Lorosa'e and to some extent South Korea, Christianity is a minority religion in all Asian countries. In some countries, such as Japan, Mongolia or Thailand, the Christian community is a tiny minority of less than one percent.

Yet there has also been an uninterrupted presence of the church in Asia since the apostolic times - and it is growing fast. According to some sources, Asia is to become one of the largest Christian populations in the world, on pace to eclipse Europe in the next 30 years.

Asia is also the region where the churches founded by western mission societies were the first to claim their autonomy and for some of them to enter into organic unity. At the foundation of the WCC in 1948 Asia was the region of what is now called the global south that was best represented. It is also Asia where the first regional ecumenical organization was founded in 1957: the East Asia Christian Conference, forerunner of the current Christian Conference of Asia.

In 1961, the 3rd Assembly of the World Council of Churches was held in New Delhi, India. However, 2013 will be the first time that a WCC assembly is held in Northeast Asia.

Read more about WCC member churches in Asia

Christian Conference of Asia website