Christianity spread faster in small, politically structures societies

Nature Human Behaviour Vol/Iss. 2 Nature Published In Pages: 559-564
By Watts, Joseph, Sheehan, Oliver, Bulbulia, Joseph, Gray, Russell D. , Atkinson, Quentin D.


A model examining the predictor variables of political complexity, social inequality, and population size, as well as the control variables of cultural isolation and year of missionary arrival, will predict the conversion time of Austronesian cultures to Christianity.


Population size was found to be significantly positively associated with conversion time to Christianity (p = 0.002). There was a negative association between political complexity and conversion time (p = 0.009). There was no relationship between social inequality and conversion time (p = 0.805). There was a negative relationship between the first control variable, cultural isolation, and conversion time (p = 0.049) as well as the second, year of missionary arrival, and conversion time (p = 0.015).


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
multivariate PGLS-spatial analysesSupportedUNKNOWNUNKNOWNUNKNOWN