Crushing the Myth that Christianity Crushes Diversity

by Lisa Quintana

Doesn’t Christianity crush diversity? This is the question Rebecca McLaughlin answers so well in her book, Confronting Christianity. In it, McLaughlin explains the back story of how this perception came to exist. It started centuries ago, when Western missionaries used to try to rid certain cultures of native practices. That view was not God’s intent, but man’s misunderstanding—conflating the spreading of the gospel along with Western cultural ideals. 

An example of this happened with the British imperialism of India. Imperialism is the state policy of extending power and dominion by direct territorial acquisition, or by gaining political and economic control of other territories and peoples. That did not go over so great with the Indian people. 

The White Evangelical is the Face of Christianity?

Today, however, missionaries do not try to rid a native culture of its practices (unless those practices harm, like the infamous head-hunting of certain tribes), but attempt to adapt the gospel to what is known in that culture. This has been a better way of spreading the good news. Yet, because of previous missionary tactics, there is a perception that the face of Christianity is the white evangelical. This is a misconception. 

Let’s consider Jesus’ life-changing conversation with the Samaritan women at the well (John 4). This was unheard of back in His time, yet by His example, He showed that God loves all people. He goes on to demonstrate this further in the famous parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). And we mustn’t forget what Christ’s last commission was— to go and make disciples of ALL nations (Matt. 28:19). And this is exactly what the apostles began to do when they took the Gospel message to Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Egypt and Italy (Acts. 2:5-11).

In addition to that, Paul, previously a staunch-Jew, ripped up social barriers of his day when he wrote to the church in Colossae: “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.” (Col. 3:11.) And to the Galatians, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28.)

First African Church

Another common misconception is that Christianity first came to Africa via white missionaries in the colonial era. Nope. If we look in Acts 8:26-40, God directs Philip to the chariot of an Ethiopian eunuch. This man embraces Christ and gets baptized. This Ethiopian was a court official of Candace, the Queen of Ethiopia. Although there are no found records of how the people responded to this Ethiopian official upon his return home, we do know that in the 4th century, there was the second official Christian state founded, nearly a half-century before the Christianization of Rome.

Africa also spawned several of the early church fathers, including the famous St. Augustine. Today, while most of the North Africa is Muslim, over 60% of the sub-Saharan African population identifies as Christian! And population estimates forecast that by 2050, this part of Africa could be home to 40% of the world’s Christians.

The Middle-East – most persecuted Church

Centuries of Western art depicting a fair-skinned Jesus inclines us to forget that Christianity came from the Middle East. In 1979, there were about 500 Christians from a Muslim background in Iran. Yet despite much persecution, today there are literally hundreds of thousands of Christians in Iran – the fastest growing Christian movement in the world!1


If Christianity is the most ethnically dispersed major world religion, Hinduism is the least.2 About 14% of Indians are Muslim, and only a mere 2% are Christians. Yet, the church in South India claims a lineage going back to the Apostle Thomas, who is believed to have brought the gospel there. More prayer and work needs to be done for India to embrace the Gospel.


There is evidence of Christianity in China as early as the 8th C AD, but for most of the 12-hundred years since, Christianity has not gained a foothold there. However, in 2010, China’s Christian population was 68-million. It’s grown about 10% annually. Experts predict that there will be more Christians in China than in the USA by 2030; some saying China could have a Christian majority by 2050!3

Women of Color

The Secular Left all too often refuses to acknowledge the demographics of Christianity. For example, in the US, black women are by far the most Christian demographic.3 Globally, women of color are most likely to be Christian!4 Why doesn’t that story get told?

This shows that Christianity is not a “white man’s religion,” but instead will host “… a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” who will worship Jesus together forever (Rev. 7:9).

  1.  Rebecca McLaughlin, Confronting Christianity, p. 38.
  2.  Pew Research Center, The Global Religious Landscape, 2012.
  3. Council on Foreign Relations, “Christianity in China”,, accessed 3-14-21.
  4. Pew Research Center,, accessed 3-14-21.
  5.  Ibid, “Religious Landscape Study”, 2014.


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  2. Philosophical Logic March 18, 2021
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  4. Stephen De La Vega March 24, 2021
  5. Yvonne Morgan March 24, 2021
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