When we say largest megachurches in the world, Americans are likely to immediately think of the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas—which boasts of some 43,500 people attending its services weekly—or Potter's House in Dallas.
However, Leadership Network's Warren Bird, an expert when it comes to the subject of megachurches, recently released a research showing that Christian churches with the largest attendance are not located in the United States but in Asia and Africa.
In an article on the Leadership Network's website, Bird named the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea as the most attended Christian church in the world. This Pentecostal church, located in the capital city of Seoul, boasts of 480,000 people attending its weekly services and 830,000 individuals in total membership.
In far distant second are the Deeper Christian Ministry and the Onnuri Community Church, which are both located in Nigeria. These churches each have a total attendance of 75,000 individuals on a weekly basis.
Bird said these figures give Christians reason to celebrate, since these indicate that more and more people are embracing Jesus Christ in different parts of the world.
"Accurate data allows us to see the larger picture of what God seems to be doing. For starters, you'll observe that the world's biggest churches are not in the United States (and further, the United States did not even start the trend of megachurches)," Bird wrote.
He also expects Christian churches to continue to grow around the world, even in countries where other religions are more dominant.
"You'll also see which countries have the newer growth of larger churches (and as this list grows, I'm convinced that we'll document that there are far more megachurches outside the United States than in it)," Bird said.
"As one example, India today has more believers than at any time in its 4,000-year history, and as my list populates, I suspect we'll find a growing number of megachurches there. You can explore everything from average pastor age to the likelihood level of Pentecostal/charismatic theology in these large churches," he added.