In “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” 18th-century historian Edward Gibbon blames Rome’s demise, at least in part, on Christianity. He wrote, “The clergy successfully preached the doctrines of patience and pusillanimity; the active virtues of society were discouraged, and the last remains of military spirit were buried in the cloister [and] a large portion of public and private wealth was consecrated to the specious demands of charity and devotion...”
As 2019 begins, the world is becoming more religious, not less. Faith from diverse traditions grows as population expands throughout most of the Global South. Last year, nearly 50 million more Christians were added in Africa, making it the continent with the most adherents to Christianity in the world, 631 million.