Data Sources


We acknowledge that there is no way to possess 100% accurate knowledge of the faith status or location status of every person in the world.

No government has this exact number, no business, ... nobody but God has the facts of a person's true faith or whereabouts. Therefore, every demographic fact is a mathematical deduction or extrapolation. (Sorry friends who like exact numbers.)

But leveraging the best data sources we can access, we have created a prayer tool to offer informative prayer guidance featuring a unique, close-up location breakdown of the world.

Recommended Resource: Location Grid Project

Prayer.Global is build on Disciple.Tools open source software, and Disciple.Tools mapping and geolocation system is an open source project called Location Grid Project. The Location Grid Project is a geographic framework of world locations and polygons for disciple making movement saturation efforts.

Data and Methodology


Population Data

The population data was acquired and cross-checked through multiple sources; country level data is easy to find; most state level data is relatively easy to find; but county level data for non-western countries often required significant research to compile recent census data.

Country Level Population
  • UN Data - United Nations is a recognized source of reliable population data and provided highest level country population.
State Level Population
County Level Population
Many western countries have organized, open census websites and population for county (administrative level 2) locations are readily available. There are a number of governments that either deliberately do not easily publish their population data or are not organized to distribute it easily. These countries required significant research to get population data.
  • City Population
  • GeoNames
  • Various census reports published by governments
  • Various population reports published by humanitarian agencies
  • Wikipedia
  • State websites

Faith Status Data

Categories

  • Non-Christian
    Someone who is far from a true knowledge Jesus Christ and far from a commitment to Jesus Christ.
  • Cultural Christian
    (aka. Christian Adherent) Someone who has access to the knowledge of Jesus Christ through a cultural presence of the Church, but may or may not have been encouraged to seek Jesus in a personal, intimate way.
  • Believer
    (aka. Disciple, Christian) Someone who has accepted in faith the knowledge of Jesus Christ and who has surrendered their life to Jesus as a personal savior.

Source and Method of Calculation

  • Source
    Joshua Project - Values for "Christian Adherent" and "Evangelical" (which determine unreached status) are often informed estimates, some more accurate than others at the country level.
  • Extrapolation
    Prayer.Global has used the population data at the county and state levels from the Location Grid project and divided percentages by the location population to arrive at the faith status population estimates.
  • Acknowledged Weakness

    At best, this methodology can offer a general, estimated target for the faith status of various locations. Actual faith status for each location could vary enormously above or below our estimates.

    All calculations of faith status data anywhere suffer the same limitations ... no matter the source ... they are all generalizations.

    Our belief is that the estimated numbers for non-christian, cultural christian, and disciple help the person praying to better understand the challenge facing the church in that location. It helps answer questions like: Is this a weak and small church surrounded by a dominant religion? Is this church holding out against an atheist culture? Is this a church trying to be faithful while surrounded by a lukewarm historic cultural church?

    More than the exact number, it is the distribution of knowledge of Jesus that is informative to the praying person.


Language and Religion Data

  • Joshua Project - Two columns from Joshua Project resources were used to identify Primary Language and Primary Religion. These were identified at the country level, and future versions of Prayer Global intend to push deeper and more accurately into the spoken languages per location.

Administrative Divisions and Polygon Resources

Location Grid Project
The Location Grid Project is an open source project born out of the Disciple Tools open source project. It was built to support a standardized geolocation grid for disciple making movements activity. (Location Grid Project Website) (Github Project)

Location Grid - Data Sources
The Location Grid database and polygon set are derived these data sources, although significant processing of original polygon files were implemented for lightweight web distribution:

  • GADM - GADM is an academic project that provides administrative polygon boundaries. These boundaries provided the seed for the grid system.
  • GeoNames - GeoNames is an open source location database of over 11 million places. It has a redistributable polygon set and associated location name database that also served as a seed for the location grid system.
  • Open Street maps - Open Street Maps is the best open alternative to closed mapping systems like Google Maps or Apple Maps. Intentional coordination and polygon preparation was designed for use with this tiling system.
  • Mapbox - Mapbox is a service that uses Open Street Maps system but adds a developer friendly programming and hosting layer to mapping source.
  • Location Grid - Database and Public Mirror - An enormous amount of custom processing, configuration, and web hosting is provided as a result of the Location Grid Project.

City Data

  • GeoNames - Geonames provided the original 200k city names, population, longitude, and latitude.
  • Location Grid - Geocoding - Populated cities from geonames were coded against the Location Grid using the longitude, latitude. Then they were crafted into a new resource table.

Bible Citations

  • English - The NIV is the primary translation used in the prayers. ESV used occasionally.

Statistical Resources


National Statistical Offices
ABWCentral Bureau of Statistics Aruba
AFGCentral Statistics Office, Afghanistan
AGOInstituto Nacional de Estatística, República de Angola
AIAAnguilla's Statistics Department
ALBInstituti i Statistikës, Tiranë
ANDDepartament d'Estatdística, Andorra
ARERas Al Khaimah DED Knowledge Center
AREMinistry of Economy, United Arab Emirates
AREStatistics Center Abu Dhabi
AREFujairah Statistics Center
AREDubai Statistics Center
AREFederal Competiveness and Statistics Authority
AREAjman Statistics and Competitiveness Center
AREDepartment of Statistics and Community Development Sharjah
ARGInstituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos de la Republica Argentina
ARMNational Statistical Service of the Republic of Armenia
ASMAmerican Samoa Government: Research & Statistics
ATGStatistics Division of Antigua and Barbuda
AUSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
AUTStatistik Austria
AZEState Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan
BDIInstitut de Statistiques et d'Etudes Economiques du Burundi
BELStatistics Belgium, NIS-INS, Ministry of Economic Affairs
BENInstitut National de la Statistique Benin
BFAInstitut National de la Statistique et de la Demographie, Burkina Faso
BGDBangladesh Bureau of Statistics
BGRNational Statistical Institute Bulgaria
BHRBahrain Information and e-Government Authority
BHSDepartment of Statistics, Bahamas
BIHFederal Office of Statistics of the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina
BIHRepublika Srpska Institute of Statistics
BIHBosnia and Herzegovina Agency for Statistics
BLRNational Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus
BLZStatistical Institute of Belize
BMUDepartment of Statistics, Government of Bermuda
BOLInstituto Nacional de Estadística, República de Bolivia
BRAInstituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica
BRBBarbados Statistical Service
BRNDepartment of Economic Planning and Development, Brunei
BTNNational Statistics Bureau, Royal Government of Bhutan
BWACentral Statistic Office, Republic of Botswana
CAFInstitut Centralafrican des Statistiques et des Etudes Economiques et Sociales
CANStatistics Canada
CHEBundesamt für Statistik, Schweiz
CHLInstituto Nacional de Estadísticas, Santiago de Chile
CHNChina National Bureau of Statistics
CISInterstate Statistical Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CISStat)
CMRBureau Central des Recensements et des Etudes de Population, Cameroun
CODInstitut National de la Statistique, République Démocratique du Congo
COGInstitute National de la Statistique, Republique du Congo
COKCook Islands Statistics Office
COLDepartamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadistica, Republica de Columbia
COMInstitut Nationale de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques et Démographiques, Union des Comores
CPVInstituto Nacional de Estatística, Cabo Verde
CRIInstituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos, Costa Rica
CUBOficina Nacional de Estadisticas, República de Cuba
CUWCentral Bureau of Statistics, Curaçao
CVIInstitut National de la Statistique, Republique de Côte d'Ivoire
CYMGovernment of the Cayman Islands, Economics and Statistics Office
CYPStatistical Service, Republic of Cyprus
CZECzech Statistical Office
DEUStatistisches Bundesamt Deutschland
DEUStatistical Offices of the German States
DJIInstitut National de la Statistique de Djibouti
DJIMinistère des Finances Djibouti
DMAGovernment of the Commonwealth of Dominica
DNKDenmark Statistik (StatBank)
DOMLa Oficina Nacional de Estadística, República Dominicana
DZAOffice National des Statistiques de l'Algérie
ECUEl Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos del Ecuador
EGYCentral Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, Egypt
ESPInstituto Nacional de Estadística, España
ESTStatistical Office of Estonia
ETHCentral Statistics Agency of Ethiopia
FINStatistics Finland
FJIFiji Islands Bureau of Statistics
FLKFalkland Islands Government
FRAInstitut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques, Paris, France
FROHagstova Føroya, Statistics Faroe Islands
FSMFSM Statistics Office
GABDirection Générale des Statistiques du Gabon
GBRThe Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
GBRNational Records of Scotland
GBRUK Office for National Statistics
GEOState Department for Statistics of Georgia
GGYStates of Alderney (government site)
GGYStates of Guernsey (government site)
GHAGhana Statistical Service
GIBStatistics Office Gibraltar
GINDirection Nationale de la Statistique de Guinée
GMBGambia Bureau of Statistics
GNBInstituto Nacional de Estatística Guiné-Bissau
GNQInstituto Nacional de Estadisticas de Guinea Ecuatorial
GRCGeneral Secretariat of National Statistical Service of Greece
GRDGrenada Central Statistics Office
GRLKalaallit Nunaanni Naatsorsueqqissaartarfik
GTMInstituto Nacional de Estadistica Guatemala
GUMGuam Bureau of Statistics and Plans
GUYBureau of Statistics Guyana
HKGCensus and Statistics Department, SAR Hong Kong
HNDInstituto Nacional de Estadística Honduras
HRVCroatian Bureau of Statistics
HTIInstitut Haïtien de Statistique et d'Informatique
HUNHungarian Central Statistical Office
IDNBadan Pusat Statistik, Republik Indonesia
IMNIsle of Man Government
INDOffice of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India
IRLCentral Statistics Office, Ireland
IRNStatistical Centre of Iran
IRQCentral Organization for Statistics and Information Technology Iraq
ISLStatistics Iceland
ISRCentral Bureau of Statistics, The State of Israel
ITAIstituto Nazionale di Statistica, Italia
ITAGeodemo Statistiche Demografiche dell'ISTAT
JAMStatistical Institute of Jamaica
JAPStatistics Bureau Japan
JEYStates of Jersey: Government and Administration
JORDepartment of Statistics, Jordan
KAZThe Agency of Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan
KENKenya National Bureau of Statistics
KGZNational Statistical Committee of Kyrgyz Republic
KHMNational Institute of Statistics of Cambodia
KIRKiribati National Statistics Office
KORStatistics Korea
KOSKosovo Agency of Statistics
KWTCentral Statistical Office, State of Kuwait
KWTKuwait Public Authority for Civil Information
LAOLao Statistics Bureau
LATCentral Statistical Bureau of Latvia
LBNCentral Administration for Statistics, Lebanese Republic
LBRLiberia Institute of Statistics & Geo-Information Services
LBYBureau of Statistics and Census Libya
LCASt. Lucia Government Statistics Department
LIEAmt für Statistik, Landesverwaltung Liechtenstein
LKADepartement of Census and Statistics Sri Lanka
LSOLesotho Bureau of Statistics
LTUDepartment of Statistics, Republic of Lithuania
LUXLe Portail des Statistiques du Luxembourg
MACDirecção dos Serviços de Estatística e Censos, Macau
MARHaut Commissariat au Plan, Royaume du Maroc
MCOMonaco Statistics
MDADepartamentul Statistica si Sociologie al Republicii Moldova
MDGInstitut National de la Statistique Madagascar
MDVNational Bureau of Statistics, Republic of Maldives
MEXInstituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía, México
MHLEconomic Policy, Planning and Statistics Office, Republic of the Marshall Islands
MKDState Statistical Office, Republic of North Macedonia
MLIInstitut National de la Statistiques, République du Mali
MLTNational Statistics Office Malta
MMRMyanmar Statistical Information Service
MMRMyanmar Central Statistical Organization
MNEStatistical Office of Montenegro
MNGMongolian National Statistical Office
MNPCNMI Department of Commerce
MOZInstituto Nacional de Estatistica Moçambique
MRTOffice National de la Statistique, Mauretanie
MUSCentral Statistical Office of Mauritius
MWINational Statistical Office of Malawi
MYSDepartment of Statistics Malaysia
NAMNamibia Statistics Agency
NCLInstitut de la Statistique et des Études Économiques Nouvelle-Calédonie
NERInstitut National de la Statistique du Niger
NFKNorfolk Island Government
NGANational Bureau of Statistics Nigeria
NICInstituto Nacional de Información de Desarrollo, Nicaragua
NIUStatistics Niue
NLDStatistics Netherlands
NORStatistics Norway
NPLCentral Bureau of Statistics, Nepal
NRUNauru Bureau of Statistics
NZLStatistics New Zealand
OIAOIA Statistics Online
OMNSultanate of Oman, National Centre for Statistics and Information
PAKPakistan Bureau of Statistics
PANInstituto Nacional de Estadística y Censo, Panamá
PERInstituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática, Peru
PHLNational Statistics Office of the Philippines
PLWBureau of Budget & Planning, Republic of Palau
PNGNational Statistical Office of Papua New Guinea
POLCentral Statistical Office Poland
PRTInstituto Nacional de Estatística Portugal
PRYParaguay Dirección General de Estadísticas, Encuestas y Censos
PSEPalestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
PYFInstitute Statistique de Polynésie Française
QATQatar Planning and Statistics Authority
ROURomania National Institute of Statistics
RUSFederal State Statistics Service Russia
RUSRussia Census 2010
RWANational Institute of Statistics Rwanda
SAUGeneral Statistics Authority, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
SENAgence Nationale de la Statistique et de la Démographie, Sénégal
SGPSingapore Department of Statistics
SHNSaint Helena Government
SLBSolomon Islands National Statistics Office
SLEStatistics Sierra Leone
SLVDirección General de Estadistica y Censos, El Salvador
SMRUfficio Informatica, Tecnologia, Dati e Statistica, San Marino
SOMSomalia National Bureau of Statistics
SRBStatistical Office of the Republic of Serbia
SSDSouth Sudan National Bureau of Statistics
STPInstituto Nacional de Estatística, República Democrática de São Tomé e Príncipe
SUDCentral Bureau of Statistics Sudan
SURAlgemeen Bureau voor de Statistiek in Suriname
SVKStatistical Office of the Slovak Republic
SVNStatistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia
SWEStatistiska Centralbyrån (SCB), Sverige
SWZCentral Statistical Office Swaziland
SXMDepartment of Statistics Sint Maarten
SYCNational Statistics Bureau, Seychelles
SYRCentral Bureau of Statistics, Syrian Arab Republic
TCATurks and Caicos Statistics Department
TCD Institut National de la Statistique, des Études Économiques et Démographiques du Tchad
TGODirection Générale de la Statistique et de la Comptabilité Nationale, République Togolaise
THANational Statistical Office, Thailand
TJKState Statistical Committee of the Republic of Tajikistan
TKLTokelau National Statistical Unit
TKMState Committee for Statistics, Turkmenistan
TLSNational Directorate of Statistics Timor-Leste
TONTonga Department of Statistics
TRNCTRNC State Planning Organization
TTOCentral Statistical Office, Trinidad and Tobago
TUNInstitut National de la Statistique Tunisie
TURRepublic of Turkey, State Institute of Statistics
TUVTuvalu Central Statistics Division
TWNMinistry of Interior, Republic of China
TWNNational Statistics, Republic of China
TZANational Bureau of Statistics Tanzania
UGAUganda Bureau of Statistics
UKRState Statistics Committee of Ukraine
UNUN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division
URYInstituto Nacional de Estadística, Uruguay
USAU.S. Census Bureau
UZBState Committee of Uzbekistan on Statistics
VCTGovernment of St. Vincent & the Grenadines - Statistical Office
VENInstituto Nacional de Estadística, Venezuela
VGBGovernment of the Virgin Islands (UK), Central Statistics Office
VNMGeneral Statistics Office of Vietnam
VUTVanuatu National Statistics Office
WLFService Territorial de la Statistique et des Études Économiques, Wallis et Futuna
WSMSamoa Statistical Services Division
YEMCentral Statistical Organisation Yemen
ZAFStatistics South Africa
ZMBCentral Statistical Office Zambia
ZWECentral Statistical Office Zimbabwe
International Web Resources
CIA World Fact BookCountry profiles and small static maps.
Humanitarian Data ExchangeFor almost all countries of the world statistical and geospatial data.
OpenStreetMapProject that creates and provides free geographic data especially about streets and other points of interest; contains partly also administrative boundaries.
Population Statistics of Eastern Europe (pop-stat.mashke.org)Detailed population statistics for Eastern and Middle Europe.
SPC Statistics for Development Division (PRISM)Statistics of the pacific island countries and territories by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
StatoidsInformation about the administrative divisions of countries (update stopped in 2018).
UN Statistics Division: Demographic YearbookPopulation of countries, capital cities and cities of 100,000 and more inhabitants
UN Statistics Division: Census DatesOverview over census dates and some links.
WikidataWikidata is a free and open knowledge base representing a subset of Wikipedia data in a structured way.
Wikipedia, the free encyclodiaThe free encyclopedia provides many facts about countries and cities, however, of varying quality.