We have books and seminars on church growth. Christianity is growing rapidly in places like China and parts of Africa. Christ has given us a commission to take the gospel to all nations, and we expect the fulfilment of this Great Commission.
But churches also die. Local churches die. In church history, we see entire regions go from predominantly Christian to places where there are virtually no Christians. This happened in the past in North Africa (what is today Tunisia and Algeria) and Turkey.
Persecution can lead to church growth. Tertullian, around the year 2000, wrote, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” Christianity grew despite the persecution of the Romans. In the twentieth century, the Christian church grew by the tens of millions in China during intense communist persecution.
Tertullian lived in North Africa. In the 700s the Moslems conquered the area, and Christianity was completely gone within a few hundred years.
Christianity has existed in Iraq for 2000 years. This could be coming to an end. Persecution may not always cause church growth. In this case, it is causing church extinction.
Will there be Christianity in North America 200 years from now? There is no guarantee.
Christianity Today has an article about this: The Other Side of Church Growth by Philip Jenkins.
Grace and Peace