Evangelicalism (n/), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism,[note 1] is a worldwide, trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity which maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus's atonement.[1][2][3] Evangelicals believe in the centrality of the conversion or "born again" experience in receiving salvation, in the authority of the Bible as God's revelation to humanity, and in spreading the Christian message. The movement has had a long presence in the Anglosphere before spreading further afield in the 19th, 20th and early 21st centuries.

Its origins are usually traced to 1738, with various theological streams contributing to its foundation, including English Methodism, the Moravian Church (in particular its bishop Nicolaus Zinzendorf and his community at Herrnhut), and German Lutheran Pietism. Preeminently, John Wesley and other early Methodists were at the root of sparking this new movement during the First Great Awakening. Today, evangelicals are found across many Protestant branches, as well as in various denominations not subsumed to a specific branch.[4] Among leaders and major figures of the evangelical Protestant movement were John Wesley, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Billy Graham, Bill Bright, Harold Ockenga, John Stott and Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The movement gained great momentum during the 18th and 19th centuries with the Great Awakenings in Great Britain and the United States.

In 2016, there were an estimated 619 million evangelicals in the world, meaning that one in four Christians would be classified as evangelical.[5] The United States has the largest concentration of evangelicals in the world.[6] American evangelicals are a quarter of the nation's population and its single largest religious group.[7][8] The main movements are Baptist churches, Evangelical Anglicanism,[9] Wesleyanism,[10] Confessional Reformed churches, including the Presbyterian Church in America, Pentecostalism, charismatic Evangelicalism, neo-charismatic Evangelicalism, and some nondenominational Christianity.


The word evangelical has its etymological roots in the Greek word for "gospel" or "good news": εὐαγγέλιον euangelion, from eu "good", angel- the stem of, among other words, angelos "messenger, angel", and the neuter suffix -ion.[11] By the English Middle Ages, the term had expanded semantically to include not only the message, but also the New Testament which contained the message, as well as more specifically the Gospels, which portray the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.[12] The first published use of evangelical in English was in 1531, when William Tyndale wrote "He exhorteth them to proceed constantly in the evangelical truth." One year later, Thomas More wrote the earliest recorded use in reference to a theological distinction when he spoke of "Tyndale [and] his evangelical brother Barns".[13]

During the Reformation, Protestant theologians embraced the term as referring to "gospel truth". Martin Luther referred to the evangelische Kirche ("evangelical church") to distinguish Protestants from Catholics in the Catholic Church.[14][15] Into the 21st century, evangelical has continued in use as a synonym for (mainline) Protestant in continental Europe, and elsewhere. This usage is reflected in the names of Protestant denominations, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany (a union of Lutheran and Reformed churches) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.[12]

In the English-speaking world, evangelical was commonly applied to describe the series of revival movements that occurred in Britain and North America during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.[16] Christian historian David W. Bebbington writes that, "Although 'evangelical', with a lower-case initial, is occasionally used to mean 'of the gospel', the term 'Evangelical', with a capital letter, is applied to any aspect of the movement beginning in the 1730s."[17] According to the Oxford English Dictionary, evangelicalism was first used in 1831.[18]

The term may also be used outside any religious context to characterize a generic missionary, reforming, or redeeming impulse or purpose. For example, The Times Literary Supplement refers to "the rise and fall of evangelical fervor within the Socialist movement".[19]

Other Languages
العربية: الإنجيلية
تۆرکجه: اوانجلیسم
български: Евангелизъм
čeština: Evangelikalismus
español: Evangelicalismo
Esperanto: Evangeliismo
français: Évangélisme
한국어: 복음주의
Bahasa Indonesia: Evangelikalisme
interlingua: Evangelicalismo
italiano: Evangelicalismo
עברית: אוונגליזם
Кыргызча: Евангелисттер
Latina: Evangelismus
lietuvių: Evangelikai
lumbaart: Gesa Evangelega
македонски: Евангелизам
Malagasy: Evanjelisma
日本語: 福音主義
português: Evangelicalismo
Simple English: Evangelicalism
slovenščina: Evangeljske Cerkve
српски / srpski: Евангелизам
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Evangelizam
Tiếng Việt: Chủ nghĩa phúc âm
中文: 福音主義