WORLD CHRISTIAN HANDBOOK Information fuels Initiative
“The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time” – Carl Henry
“Do not say that God allowed the flame to wane. Have you fed the fire? Information is the fuel. If the fire has died for lack of fuel, it is your own fault” – Robert Wilder, Student Volunteer Movement leader
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Introduction: “World Christian” Defined & God’s Heart for the World
World Population & Growth World Evangelism Stats People Groups & The Global South 10/40 Window & Reaching Internationals Money & Missions Missionary Workforce The Persecuted Church & Martyrology The Church is BIGGER than you Think! World Christian Terminology Appendix: World Christian quotes
“W O R L D C H R I S T I A N ” Defined: All of us have faced life’s most important decision: whether to trust Christ as Savior. But after that choice comes another that will profoundly affect our lives and the lives of potentially thousands of others. We may not even be aware that we are making the choice, yet our decision will affect our perspective on life, our choice of life partner and vocation, and our use of time, money, and all the resources God has given. The choice is this: Will we become WORLD Christians or WORLDLY Christians? A Worldly Christian is one who accepts the basic message of salvation, but whose lifestyle, priorities, and concerns are molded by the self-centered spirit of our age. This person looks to the Scriptures for personal blessings, prays mostly for immediate, personal needs, and sees Christian faith as a way to get God on his side. A World Christian breaks the mold of a self-centered world. A world Christian is one who has chosen to start living with an attitude of selfdenial so that he might respond to a world of greater need beyond himself. A World Christian is someone whose life is shaped by a GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. A World Christian is someone who has the world on his or her heart and has taken personal responsibility for the Great Commission.1 Missions expert David Bryant writes: “World Christians are day-to-day disciples for whom Christ's global cause has become the integrating, overriding priority for all that life is for them. Like disciples should, they actively investigate all that their Master's Great Commission means. Then they act on what they learn. World Christians are Christians whose life directions have been solidly transformed by a world vision.2” The design and desire of this booklet is to assist as many people as possible in the process of becoming a World Christian and participating in the greatest adventure of all time – the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation. My goal is to inform your head about the world and the status of world evangelization, inspire your heart with staggering statistics, and involve your hands to learn, pray, give and go for the sake of God’s glory among the nations! 1 2
Adapted from Paul Borthwick, Building World Vision David Bryant, In the Gap
G O D ’S H E A R T Gen. 12:3 – I will bless you...and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. Ps. 67:3-4 – Let the peoples praise you, O God;! let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy Ps. 86:9-10 – All the nations you have made shall come! and worship before you, O Lord,! and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things;! you alone are God. Ps. 96:3 – Declare his glory among the nations,! his marvelous works among all the peoples! Isa. 24:14-16 – They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;! over the majesty of the Lord they shout from the west. Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord;! in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise,! of glory to the Righteous One. Isa. 66:19-20 – And they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, Hab. 2:14 – For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as waters cover the sea. Mal. 1:11 – For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations Matt. 24:14 – And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Matt. 28:19 – “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations” Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Rev. 5:9 – Worthy are you to take the scroll! and to open its seals, !for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God! from every tribe and language and people and nation Rev. 7:9 – After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb..."
WORLD POPULATION: 7,000,000,000+ World Population: 7.07 Billion (worldometers.info) 1.7,075,833,000 – as of Oct 2012 2.Median age – total: 28.4 years 3.Life expectancy – total population: 67.07 years How BIG is “7 Billion”? Seven billion seconds ago was 1789 - the year George Washington was inaugurated as the first U.S. president. If you took 7 billion steps along the Earth's equator -- at 2 feet per step -- you could walk around the world at least 106 times. Seven billion ants would weigh at least 23 tons (46,297 pounds). When you are between 31 and 32 years old, you will have lived for 1 billion seconds. To reach 7 billion seconds, you would have to live to be 220 years old! The Earth measures 24,900 miles around the middle. To travel 7 billion miles, you would have to circle the globe nearly 300,000 times. Top ten most populous countries (in millions, July 2011, CIA world) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
China 1,336.72 India 1,189.17 United States 313.23 Indonesia 245.61 Brazil 203.43 Pakistan 187.34 Bangladesh 158.57 Nigeria 155.22 Russia 138.74 Japan 126.48
WORLD POPULATION GROWTH The world is growing at a rate of 1.31 percent per year and took just 12 years to add the last billion people. This is the shortest period of time in the history of the world for a billion people to be added to our population.!! World Population reached:! 1 billion in 1804! 2 billion in 1927 (123 years later)! 3 billion in 1959 (32 years later)! 4 billion in 1974 (14 years later)! 5 billion in 1987 (13 years later) !
6 billion in 1998 (11 years later) 7 billion in 2011 (13 years laterâ€Śdecrease probably due to abortion and contraceptives) (foxnews article: world population at 7 billion) !Current World Population: 7.07 billion World Population expected to reach:! 8 billion in 2025, 10 billion in 2083 !Over the next 24 hours these averages will occur:! Births 340,000! Deaths 144,000 !Increase in population 196,000 (worldometers.info)
WORLD EVANGELISM STATS:
UNREACHED Peoples: (Less than 2% evangelical Christian and have limited or NO access to the gospel) Total Unreached People Groups: 6,921! Total Population of UPGs: 2.84 billion people! Total Percentage of world: 40.6% of world population UNSAVED Peoples:(Greater than 2% evangelical Christian but still great numbers of unsaved)! Total Population: 2.8 billion! Total People Groups: 3,306! Total Percentage of world: the unevangelized make up 13.1% of world population REACHED Peoples: (Majority Christian population)! Total Population: 2.2 billion! Total People Groups: 6,532! Total Percentage of world: the reached population makes up 44.3% of world population All People Groups Unreached People Groups % Unreached Peoples 10/40 Window Total 10/40 Window Unreached 10/40 Window % Unreached
Peoples-by-Country 16,750 6,921 41.3% 8,717 5,874 67.4%
Individuals 6.83 billion 2.84 billion 41.5 % 4.50 billion 2.76 billion 61.2 %
WHAT IS A PEOPLE GROUP? by Claude Hickman
When someone gives you a job, it is important to get a good handle on the task, including the definition of the task. When God gives you a task, it is infinitely important that you know the definition of the task. God has promised to reach all the nations of the earth and commissioned us as His ambassadors in that work. In order to be good stewards of this mission we must have a firm grip on the extent of the task, which, in the work of world missions, brings us to look closely at the terms that the Bible uses for the task. Namely, what does it mean to reach the nations? When we think of nations we usually think of the 268 nations of the world. In the New Testament, the Greek word for "nations" is the word "ethne". We get our word ethnicity from it. It means something like an ethnic group. The idea is that it is much more specific than the political nation-states we think of such as Indonesia, Turkey, or Nigeria. An anthropologist would call this "ethne" a "People Group." A people group is the largest group within which the gospel can spread without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance due to culture, language, geography, etc. Take the country of India for example. In India there are hundreds of different ethnic races of people, but even among those ethnic groups there are divisions made according to the thousands of languages they speak. It gets more complicated. Among one language and ethnic group there are religious divisions that keep people from interacting with one another, and will, at times, even result in violence between neighboring groups. Now, even among those same ethnic, language, and religion groups there will be more divisions; social divisions. In India it is called the Caste System. Basically, what this all results in is over 2,348 people groups in India that see
themselves as a unique people from those around them. And because of their differences, most are isolated from the gospel. Even though it may be nearby, the message of Christ may be in a language they don't understand or in a culture that is unaccepted. In other words they have no interaction with those people groups around them who may have the gospel. Someone must cross these cultural boundaries to get it there. This is the work of missions: to take the gospel into each people group. When the Bible speaks of nations, tribes, tongues, peoples, it is referring to the same mission; the reaching of all people groups. The promise of God is that "all nations (people groups) will be blessed through you" (Gen 12:1-3). This means that God is infinitely concerned with the reaching of each and every people group that exists. In fact, He is so concerned with reaching all of them that He is keeping a meticulous record of the fulfillment of His promise. In Psalms 87:4-6, the Lord says, "I shall mention Rahab and Babylon among those who know Meâ€Ś The Lord will count when He registers the peoples, 'This one was born there.'" We see that God is recording in the Register of the Peoples all those that He is bringing to heaven. They will one day make up the multicultural worship service seen in Rev. 7:9. So, if God has promised to reach them all and we are commanded to go to them all, we must be familiar with the task remaining and rally the church to the targeting of them all. There are currently 11,260 people groups on planet earth and there are about 6,534 that are considered unreached. The Great Commission is finishable. It is measurable and something that can be completed. The question now is; what is an unreached people group (UPG)? Ed Dayton says, "It is a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize their own people. In other words, unreached people groups lack a church that has the numbers and strength to reach their own people. Obviously, if there are no Christians within this group, there will be none who can share the gospel with them. And this is the situation in which we find over 3 billion people of the world. They are the people groups in which there is no church that is able to tell them the good news of Jesus Christ." Trent Rowland clarifies what is not an unreached people group by saying, "Since 'unreached group' refers to a group of people with no viable and relevant church, a non-Christian neighbor of most Americans would not be termed 'unreached.' They are unsaved and need the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet they probably have a church available in their own language and culture. They could go to church if they chose. In other words, they may be termed 'unsaved' or 'unevangelized persons,' but not 'unreached' because they are part of a 'reached' group." God is not as concerned with reaching more and more people as He seems to be with reaching every People Group. I would like to borrow an illustration from John Piper in which he compares the situation to two sinking ocean liners. If the promise of the Navy General was that no matter what ship in his fleet went down there would be some rescued from that ship, and if he enlisted his crew for that one purpose, what would they do if there were two ocean liners sinking at the same time? After reaching the first sinking ship you might see that there is great need and that you could justify staying to save as many as you could from the
first ship, rather than going to the second. You could even argue that in the effort and time it required to get to the second ship, you could be a better steward by staying at the first. Perhaps the people at the other ship are unwilling, and this seems to be a fruitful ground for desperate swimmers. There is plenty of need here. However, this was not the General's command. He specifically ordered his crew to save some men from both ships, not just one. This is why it is necessary for men to take the rescue boat to each ship. There must be representatives and survivors at the General's banquet from every ship. God has promised to reach some from every tribe, tongue and nation and people. He has enlisted us to rescue them and one day there will be a banquet, where all nations and people groups are represented before the throne. The task is finishable. "God blesses us that the ends of the earth may fear Him" â€“ Psalm 67:7. God has indeed blessed us with all the resources that we need to finish His Great Commission. Let's look at how the statistics break down in view of what it would take to reach each individual Unreached People Group (UPG's). Basically, for each of the 6,534 Unreached People Groups there are 552 churches in the world. That means if your church teamed up with 551 other churches to send out a team of ten people and financially support them, it doesn't sound impossible to pull off. In fact there are 103,500 Evangelical Christians per UPG, plenty for putting together teams of ten. How much money would it take to send out these teams? A generous guess would be $3.26 Billion annual support. Sound like a lot of money? Christians earn $16.3 Trillion each year as a whole. Evangelicals probably earn about $5.4 Trillion. If only the Evangelical Christians (a much smaller group, 1/5th the size of all Christendom) gave five dollars each year, this would supply above and beyond the needed finances. The task of world missions is not being held up by a lack of finances, or churches, or people. Now, with a solid grip on the definition of the task, a confidence in the resources available, and an unyielding obedience to the mission of the General, let us throw off everything that hinders and run with perseverance the race He has set before us!
THE GLOBAL SOUTH “Lafricasia” Despite what it may sound like, Lafricasia is not a disease. Instead, it is a term that describes the location of the world’s most Christianized area – Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Over the next 20 years, these continents will contain the largest Christian communities in the world.!!In the 1900s, Africa had 10 million Christians and by 2000 that number had grown to 360 million. This marks the largest quantitative religious shift in world history. Soon, Westerners will only account for 1 out of every 5 or 6 of all the Christians in the world. Statistically, the projected growth of the global Christian population over the next 20 years by continent is: • 633 Million Christians in Africa • 640 million Christians in Latin America • 460 million Christians in Asia • 555 million Christians in Europe !
With this shift in mind, here is another question: what do you picture when you think of an average Christian? If you are like me, you may think of an older white person, most likely an American. Today, when asked their perspective of the average “look” of a Christian, most people would probably list these characteristics: white, Western, male, around the age of 48. Those characteristics are exactly right - if you are living in the year 1907! However, in the present, the movement of Christianity has shifted to what is called the Global South, also known as Lafricasia. In order to describe the “average” believer today, it would be more accurate to say: black, African, female around the age of 28! By 2100 it is estimated that 3 out of 4 Christians will be living in the Global South.!! Face of Christianity in 1907
Face of Christianity in 2007
A single geographic point on the earth can be called a statistical “center of gravity”. Todd Johnson has done an excellent job documenting the shift in
the center of Christian gravity that has taken place in history (see graph below). Starting in 30 AD there were a handful of believers in Jerusalem. As the book of Acts unfolds the gospel moves north to Antioch and into modern-day Turkey. A monument found by Jesuits, that was written in 635AD also informs us that by 500-600AD the Nestorians took the gospel to modern-day China. For 1,000 years Christianity was centered in Asia Minor because of the hidden history of the Christianity in China. Yet, by 1000 AD the literal center of Christianity became Constantinople (modern day Istanbul, Turkey). Then, because of the spread of Islam and the black plague the church in Turkey was hit hard.
Source: Johnson and Chung, “Tracking Global Christianity’s Center of Gravity”,International Review of Mission, ! ! Vol. 93, No. 369, April 2004, p.166–81. www.globalchristianity.org!
From 1200-1700 AD the statistical center had reached its northernmost point (as the graph shows in 1500 AD near Vienna). At the reformation Christianity was almost exclusively identified as Northern and European. For 400 years (from 1500-1900 AD) Christianity lingered in the north. !The westward shift in Christianity occurred over the next 400 years and was instigated when Columbus discovered America. Though the modern mission movement was going the other way, Christian communities were small in comparison to what was happening in the West.!! In 1900 something profound happened. The trajectory turned southwest toward Latin America. By 1950 the center of Christianity crossed over the 31.8degree line where it began in Jerusalem. This is when we see Africa grow from 10 million Christians to 360 million Christians in the 20th century. In 1970 another stunning event happened: for the first time since 600 AD Christianity moved back East. This is again due to the rise of Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa, India and the movement in China. Shortly after 1980 Christians in the South were outnumbering Christians in the North.
Today, the center of Christian Gravity is in Timbuktu, Mali! Christianity is now a mostly non-western, non-wealthy and non-white faith. !The Lord is using the Southern Shift of the Church to reach the world. Instead of the missionary theme of the western church sounding out, “To the Ends of the Earth” the Global South is raising the banner “From the Ends of the Earth.” The Traveling Team International has seen this as we travel throughout the Global South mobilizing. Here are just a few things that are happening: - In China the Back to Jerusalem Evangelistic Band is a movement that is looking to gross 100,000 Chinese missionaries that will use the Silk Road trade routes to take the gospel back to Jerusalem. - Brazil has sent 2,000 missionaries through churches and has established 100 training centers to mobilize thousands more. In the Philippines there is an increase in women going to the Middle East both to work as housemaids and to spread the gospel. - In Nigeria, the Nigerian Evangelical Missionary Alliance (NEMA) has 95 mission agencies with 5,200 missionaries in fifty-six countries. The significance of this cannot be overstated. When a Muslim hears the story of Jesus from a Korean it is an entirely new paradigm for the Muslim who defines Christianity as strictly a Western religion. He will hear the story in a new light and, quite possibly, for the first time. !The Global South is even heading to the West. Senior Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, a Nigerian, founded the church Kingsway International Christian Centre in September 1992. Today they have nearly 12,000 people in attendance at the main service every Sunday, making them the largest independent church in the UK and Western Europe. Their attendance doubles the seating capacity of Westminster Abby. Andrew Walls is correct when he states, “In many ways the Global South church has saved Christianity. The recession of Christianity among the European peoples appears to be continuing. And yet we seem to stand at the threshold of a new age of Christianity, one in which its main base will be in the Southern continents, and where its dominant expressions will be filtered through the church of those countries. Once again, Christianity has been saved for the world by its diffusion across cultural lines.” !What are the implications of the Global South church’s amazing growth and output on the West? Unfortunately today in missions outreach, mobilization and strategy ignores the Global South totally. What is our role as we are on the verge of an entirely new mission paradigm? We have
thought through five areas of how the shifting toward the Global South plays a part in our international mobilization strategy.!!
First, to understand that we are calling Western missionaries to join God in what He is doing in a worldwide movement of missions. This means when a white, western and wealthy college student arrives on the field to greet his team, there is a very strong possibility he will be in the minority among Filipinos, Koreans, Nigerians and others.!! Second, to understand that the West still represents some of the best future frontier church planters available in the world. Western believers have an amazing history! We have learned many lessons that put us ahead in regards to understanding different cross-cultural aspects.!! Third, because tomorrow’s theological leaders will come from the Global South we must stay connected and teachable to the writings coming from there. We need to help this generation become better students of theologians from the Global South in order to give them a broader understanding of what is going on.!! Fourth, because of the Global South’s poor economic conditions, there will need to be a more holistic approach to meeting man’s spiritual and physical needs. We cannot fail to see the Great Commission as Jesus presented it to the disciples, and therefore reduce it to mere proclamation.!! Fifth, short-term missions to the South must ask the question, “How can we help you fulfill your vision?” instead of going in with an agenda. This attitude almost presumes that the Spirit’s work begins with the team’s arrival. We will need to wrestle more and more with the idea of where we fit in light of the move of God.!! Resources used and for further research see the following:! Jenkins, Philip. The Next Christendom (Numbers above taken from here)!Jenkins, Philip. The New Face of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South Johnson, Todd M. & Chung, Sun Young, Tracking Global Christianity Statistical Centre of Gravity, AD 33 to AD 2100, International Review of Mission, Vol. 93 No. 369, April 2004.Sanneh, Lamin and Carpenter, Joel. ! The Changing Face of ChristianityTaylor, Global Missiology for the 21st Century.Walls, Andrew. The ! ! Missionary Movement in Christian History
T.H.U.M.B. Acrostic Major Religious Blocs of Unreached Peoples
T – Tribal (250 Million) Believes in spirits that live all around us: in trees, in fields, in rocks, in rooftops. People must try to keep these spirits happy and enlist their help. Animists (which most tribal people are) usually live with a certain amount of fear that a spirit will be unhappy with them.
H – Hindu (1 Billion) Believes in hundreds or thousands of gods (which are likely appearances of one divine essence). God, as the Christians understand Him, may be divine, but what the Christians call "God" is only one of millions of gods. Believes in reincarnation -that is, when you die, you come back to life as an insect or a cow or even a better (or worse) person.
U – Unreligious (1.5 Billion) Secularist, Atheist or Free Thinker. Believes there may or there may not be a God. The Bible is an interesting historical book, but it is not divinely inspired. Believes that to worship God and to be a part of God's people (the church) is to be out of touch with real life. Mostly located in China (Southeast Asia), Europe, and increasingly growing in America.
M – Muslim (1.5 Billion) Believes in one God. God is to be worshiped, but He is too high and far away to think of as "father." In fact, to call him "father" would be blasphemy. Jesus was a great prophet, but He was not God. Christ was not crucified for our sins; he actually lived to be an old man.
B – Buddhist (500 Million) Follows a path of discipline in order to reach enlightenment. Often there is no conception of a god at all. Goal is to escape suffering and cease to exist.
= almost 5 Billion out of the 7 Billion in the world today & almost 3 Billion of these are UNREACHED!
T H E â€œ1 0 / 4 0 W I N D O W â€?
Most of the unreached people groups are located geographically in what some scholars call "The 10/40 Window" from West Africa across Asia between 10 degrees latitude north of the equator to 40 degrees north. Total Population in 10/40: Total People Groups in 10/40: Total UPG's in 10/40:
4.5 billion people 8,717 people groups 5,874 Unreached People Groups totaling 2.75 billion people.
Within the Window: Most of the world's unreached peoples. Two-thirds of the world's population, although only one-third of the earth's land area. The heart of the Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist religions. Eight out of ten of the poorest of the world's poor enduring the world's lowest quality of living. Only 2.4% of the world's missionary force and 0.01% of the income of the world's Christians. Interesting Fact: 60% of unreached people groups live in countries closed to missionaries from North America.
REACHING INTERNATIONALS Total International students in the US: 889,266 (includes international students, scholars and Intensive English Program Students)
62% of internationals are from 10/40 Window countries. Total Number of Students from 10/40 Window Countries studying in US: 451,568 from 68 Countries
Top 10 countries represented by US Intâ€™l students: 1. China 2. India 3. South Korea 4. Canada 5. Taiwan 6. Saudi Arabia 7. Japan 8. Vietnam 9. Mexico 10. Turkey Why reach out to Internationals? 75% of those students will return to their countries having never been invited to an American home. 80% will never enter a Church 40% of the world's 220 Heads of State once studied in the US. Only 10% of international students are reached by ministries while in the United States.
MONEY & MISSIONS Annual Income of All Church Members: $30.5 trillion. Annual income of Evangelical Christians is approximately $6.72 trillion. Given to any Christian causes: $545 billion (1.8% of our income). Put it in Perspective: That’s also how much we spend in America on Christmas. Given to Missions: $31 billion, (0.1%). That’s only 5.7% of the money given to Christian causes of any kind. Put it in Perspective: That’s also how much we spend in America on dieting programs. Money that goes toward the Reached world: $26,970,000,000 (that means 87% of the money given to “Missions” goes to areas with “reached” status or access to the gospel already). Money that goes toward Unreached Peoples: $310 million (that’s only 1% of what is given to “Missions.”). Put it in Perspective: That’s also how much Americans in 2011 spent on Halloween costumes (for their pets). The $310 million (going toward UPG’s) is only .001% of the $30.5 trillion Income of Christians. (for every $100,000 that Christians make, they give $1 to the unreached.) What is “1 in 100,000”? In terms of odds, those are the same chances you have of dying from a bee sting or from lighting. However, your dollar is just slightly more likely to make it to the unreached than the chances are of you being injured as an adult by a pogo stick. Hypothetical Observations: Evangelical Christians could provide all of the funds needed to plant a church in each of the 6,900 unreached people groups with only 0.03% of their income. The Church has roughly 3,000 times the financial resources and 9,000 times the manpower needed to finish the Great Commission. If every evangelical gave 10% of their income to missions we could easily support 2 million new missionaries.
MISSIONARY WORKFORCE All Missionaries in the World (Catholic, Protestant, etc.) All Missionaries in the Reached World All Missionaries in the Unevangelized World All Missionaries in the Unreached World Full time Christian Workers in the World All Christian workers in the Reached World All Christian workers in the Unevangelized World All Christian workers in the UnreachedWorld
419,500 foreign missionaries 316,500 foreign missionaries (75.4%) 103,000 foreign missionaries (24.6%) 10,200 foreign missionaries (2.4%) 5.5 million workers 4.19 million local workers (75.9%) 1.3 million local workers (23.7%) 20,500 local workers (0.37%)
Observations: The number of current UPG missionaries compared to the total 2 billion Christians in the world equals the same probability of being in a plane accident (.0005%). The ratio of UPG workers the total unreached world is: 1 missionary for every 278,431 people There are 95,000 Evangelical Christians for every one unreached people group. There are roughly 15 million university students (2003).
THE PERSECUTED CHURCH
As you can see in the map above, out of the twenty-two countries with severe persecution, fifteen are inside the 10/40 Window and four are adjacent. Persecution within each country is different as you look at their religious liberty, those who have been martyred for their faith, and the religious laws of the country. The top five most persecuted countries in the world according to Open Doors International World Watch List found at http://sb.od.org are North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Maldives, and Bhutan. Take time to research persecuted countries and find out the specifics of religious persecution within that country. Do a biblical study on persecution and discover what scripture has to say about it, looking at passages like: Matthew 5:10; Romans 5:1-5; Philippians 3:10; and 1 Peter 1:3-9. !For additional information on Persecution check out: www.persecution.org!. Choose, â€œpersecuted countriesâ€? and then pick the country that you are interested in. Once you choose the country it gives you general information about the kind of persecution such as religious atmosphere, the government, extremist groups, and suggested actions that you could take. !
The English word “martyr” comes from the Greek word “martys”, which means witness in English. In the New Testament, it is specifically referencing a witness to the resurrection of Christ. Being a witness frequently resulted in death, and therefore martyrs became widely known in the early church as Christians who witnessed for Christ by their own death. As Christ followers, we are to be witnesses of the Gospel and to willingly lay down our lives as He did for us over 2000 years ago. The following statistics include all believers in Christ who lost their lives prematurely, as a witness for Christ, and through human hostility. Each total includes the cumulative martyrs to date since AD33. AD33 to 500 – 2.1 million AD501 to 950 – 2.8 million AD951 to 1350 – 11.8 million AD1358 to 1500 – 17.3million AD1501 to 1750 – 21.9 million AD1751 to 1815 – 22 million AD1816 to 1914 – 24 million AD1915 to 1950 – 56 million AD1951 to 2000 – 69 million
According to Todd M. Johnson and the World Christian Encyclopedia, from AD33 to 1914 24 million Christians died for their faith.!! Just since AD1915 an additional 45 million Christians died for their faith in Christ.!! This means that more Christians were martyred in the 1900s than all the previous centuries combined.!! Total Christians that have died for their faith since the death of Christ is over 226 million Martyrs.!! That means that today over 400 Christians will die for their faith in Christ.!! Most American Christians believe that Christians only died for their faith during the early church and “Bible Times”. Yet these statistics clearly show us that Christians today in countries all over the world are dying for their faith. Martyrdom is not only happening in the present day, but is clearly growing as the Kingdom of God is expanding around the world. !World Christian Encyclopedia, World Christian Trends, Part 4: Martyrology, the demographics of Christian martyrdom AD33 to 2001.
The Church is BIGGER than You Think! Christianity is the single fastest growing religion in the world. For example, in AD 100 there were 360 non-believers for every believer. Today, there are only nine non-believers for every believer, and only four of those non-believers are from unreached people groups. Today, at least 6,000 Bible-believing local churches exist to support each of the 10,000 missionary teams that will be needed to finish the task of reaching every people group for Christ. We have over 600 million Bible-believing Christians throughout the world. The number of people who are being presented the plan of salvation every day is now at least 260,274. Pray for today's quarter million plus. May they respond to the call of Christ. Every day now the average number added to the body of Christ worldwide averages 174,000. 3,500 new churches are opening every week worldwide. Our annual growth rate of church planting is presently at more than 8% per year. We only need 11% per annum to allow us to place a living Christian fellowship -a local church- as a witness in every community in the entire world. We have seen countries like Singapore have a 10% increase of those who have seen Christ come into their lives. In the 1980's 10% of Korea and 10% of Chile turned to Christ, and over 10% in Indonesia - the largest Muslim country in the world. Indonesia is now over 25% Christian. Considering the growth rate of the world's religious blocks: Christianity is by far the fastest-growing religion in the world today. The total population of the world increases by 1.72% annually. The world's religions growth percentiles are as follows: Buddhists 1.7% Nominal Christians 2.2% Hindus 2.3% Muslims 2.7% Non-religious 2.8% Bible-believing Christians 6.9% True Christianity has grown by more than 300 million believers in the past ten years. About 10 million of these new Christians are from North America and Europe, and the rest -290 million-are from developing countries like Nigeria, Argentina, India and China. Over 700 million people in 220 countries have seen the Jesus film, with 41 million indicating a commitment to Jesus Christ and to follow-up Bible studies.
After 70 years of oppression in the Soviet Union, Christians number About 100 million - five times the number of the Communist Party at the height of its popularity, and 36% of the population. More than 15,000 public school teachers are now teaching morals from the Bible and the life of Christ in their classes. In Central Asia, a church planted in Uzbekistan just four years ago Has grown to 3,000 members and has planted 55 other congregations. Mongolia, which had no church at all as recently as 1991, now has More than 3,000 believers in 17 congregations. And the Mongolians have sent their first missionaries to work with Operation Mobilization in India. In Nepal, the world's only official Hindu country, over 100,000 Hindus have met the Savior in the last two decades. Every month another 15,000 in India are baptized as new believers in Jesus Christ. In India there is 1 pastor for every 7 churches. In Sudan the ratio is one to twelve. In China, there are now about 80 million evangelical believers - growing at a rate five times that of the general population. Over 30,000 conversions a day take place in China alone. In just over two years more than 30,000 Chinese Xiao gave their lives to Christ. It all started with a showing of the 'Jesus' film and summer teams of 20-30 Christians who traveled there to teach English and witness 1-on-1 to the elite students of the province. In recent years, the best-selling book in Japan has been the Bible. In a government survey, Japanese citizens were asked to name the greatest religious leader in history. 67% replied, "Jesus Christ." In 1900, Korea had no Protestant Church and it was deemed "impossible to penetrate." Today, six new churches open every day in South Korea, and it is site of nine of the world's largest churches - some with more than 800,000 members. Today Korea is 30% Christian with 7,000 churches in Seoul alone. Millions of Buddhists have come to Christ. In 1982 there were 321 Korean Protestant missionaries. By 1992 that number had grown to 2,576. On May 25, 1995, the South Korean Church dedicated 105,000 young people for at least two years of mission service. Another 3,000 Korean missionaries are now being trained to go into China. The one million Koreans in northern China, in what Koreans call the Kirim-Song area, are experiencing revival. About 100,000 are now believers. Latin America has over 400 million people, more than 50 million have become evangelical Christians. By the end of this decade, a majority of the people in Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador will be evangelical believers. Chile, Costa Rica, and Bolivia are about 40% Bible-believing evangelical. Already Mexico's population is more than 35% evangelical. In Latin America some 34,000 believers are added to the Church per day. Puerto Rico now has the highest number of evangelicals per square mile of any country in the world. Of the country's 3.5 million people, one million are
evangelicals. They have 7,000 churches, 10,000 pastors, nine Christian TV stations, 13 Christian radio stations, 130 Christian schools and 350 Christian community service organizations. More than 1,000 Puerto Rican young people are now training to go as missionaries to Muslims. In Brazil one hundred years ago, there were no evangelicals. In 1980 there were about 12 million Protestants. By 1995, that number had increased to more than 40 million, with more than 80,000 churches and 150 Christian radio and TV stations. The number is expected to reach 50 million by the year 2000. At least five new evangelical churches open every week now in Rio de Janeiro. Church growth country-wide has reached over 5,000 new churches annually. One new church that is just 16 years old now runs 14 Christian radio stations, four TV stations, has missionaries serving in 25 Countries and 6 million members. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, the church "Ondas de Amor y Paz" (Waves of Love and Peace) attracts 225,000 people each week. Services take place daily in a converted movie theater from 9 AM to midnight, and every month another 3,000 new believers are baptized. In Africa the church is on fire. It's the first continent to become the majority Christian (over 50%) in a single century. Over 25,000 new believers per day mark the growth of the Church. In a single summer in Mombassa, Kenya in East Africa, 56,000 Muslims came to faith in Jesus Christ. In one baptismal service in the ocean on the coast of Angola in Southern Africa, 10,000 were baptized in one day. In a six-year period in one Muslim country two million Muslims came to Christ, and missionaries in dozens of Muslim people groups are planting small churches of former Muslims worldwide. More Muslims in Iran have come to Christ since 1980 than in the previous 1,000 years combined. Before Khomeini's revolution in 1979 there were about 2,000 Iranian believers. After years of intensified persecution, there are now more than 15,000. There's a seminary in Indonesia where to graduate you have to do all the schoolwork plus start a whole church plus see at least 15 Muslims come to faith in Jesus Christ. In the past 6 years, these students have started more than 600 churches and seen 40,000 Muslims find new life in Christ. The government of Papua New Guinea recently mandated Bible teaching in every school in the country. In October 1993, the Philippines was solemnly consecrated to Jesus Christ in a massive rally around the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park in Manila - a rally attended by a million believers.
In North America, 85 million copies of the New International Version Of the Bible have been sold in the past 15 years; and 42 percent of its purchasers read the Bible every day. Every week 34 percent of the American population reads the Bible outside of church - that's 75 million weekly exposed to the Word that "will not return void". On an average day Americans will buy 35,932 Bibles. Many cities are experiencing a fresh spiritual awakening - mostly among young people. For example, recently in Wichita, Kansas, each of 3,000 Christian high schoolers committed themselves to pray over the lockers of 10 students in their schools and to then invite them to a massive rally. Ten thousand showed up at the rally, where more than 6,000 teenagers came to faith in Jesus Christ. Prayer groups are getting big. More than 2.7 million gathered at one time in Yoido Plaza in Seoul, Korea -the largest face-to-face meeting of humans in history. About 45,000 gathered for prayer at the national soccer stadium in Guatemala City, Guatemala. And 26,000 gathered in the Blue Jay stadium in Toronto, Canada to pray. In southern California, about 300 high schoolers gather once a month to pray for the world. In October 1995, more than 30 million Christians prayed around the world for 100 key cities. Every 14 days another translation of the New Testament is begun in a new language. If we're still here, at least some portion of the Bible will be translated into every language on earth by the year 2020. In 1991, the United States boasted 1,485 Christian radio stations, 300 television programs, 148 million professing Christians and 70 million born-again believers. (The stats above are adapted from data by David B. Barrett and Todd M Johnson of the Global Evangelization Movement web site.!Other portions come from Patrick Johnstone's The Church is Bigger Than You Think, Bill and Amy Stearns' Catch the Vision 2000, and the course material for Vision for the Nations published by the US Center for World Mission.)
WORLD CHRISTIAN TERMS: Adoption (of an unreached people): Making a commitment to an unreached people until there is an indigenous, reproducing church established among them. Aspects may include prayer, research, and networking toward church planting, learning about an them, their environment, culture, demographics, status, etc. They pray about how churches can be established among them. They may network and partner with others to encourage their involvement. Affinity Bloc: Families of peoples related in aspects such as religion, culture, history, politics, and geography. In nearly every bloc there are widely dissimilar and unrelated linguistic minorities, but often there is one particular culture that is dominant. Closed Country: Countries that limit or prevent Christian ministry by expatriates as missionaries. Alternatively they are called creative-access countries, restricted access countries, closing countries, restrictive countries, sensitive countries. Contextualization: Adapting something (a biblical concept, mission method, etc.) to make it understood within the context of an ethnic culture. Ethnocentrism: Seeing the world through self-colored glasses, so that your culture always looks best and becomes the pattern everyone else should fit into. By no means is ethnocentrism restricted to the majority culture in a country, but it is a nearly universal tendency among humans. Ethnolinguistic People: An ethnic or racial group speaking its own language. A people group distinguished by its self-identity with traditions of common descent, history, customs and language. Also known as a people. Evangelicals: The subdivision of Protestantism which generally emphasizes: 1) the Lord Jesus Christ as the sole source of salvation through faith in Him; 2) Personal faith and conversion with regeneration by the Holy Spirit; 3) A recognition of the inspired Word of God as the only basis for faith and Christian living; 4) Commitment to biblical preaching and evangelism that brings others to faith in Christ. Expatriate: One who has taken up residence in a foreign country.
Field: The location where ministry, church planting, and evangelism takes place. Frontier: Pertaining to unreached areas or peoples. Great Commission: Matthew 28:18-20. Jesus' final instructions to his followers to go everywhere to make disciples among every people. Harvest Field: All who are not true Christians; not part of the Body of Christ. Indigenous peoples or persons: Those individuals or groups who originate from a particular area; a national, a native. Martyr: A Christian believer who dies in a situation of witness as a result of human hostility. Missiology: The study of missions and mission strategies; the theology of missions; how and why we do missions. Missionary: One who is sent with a message. The Christian missionary is one commissioned by a local church to evangelize, plant churches and disciple people away from his home area, often among people of a different race, culture or language. Network: An extended group of people with similar interests or concerns who interact and remain in informal contact for mutual assistance or support. People Group: A significantly large sociological grouping of individuals who perceive themselves to have a common affinity with one another. From the viewpoint of evangelization, this is the largest possible group within which the gospel can be spread without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance. Support: The finances and prayer you will need to ask others to give for your mission trip. Tentmaker: A cross-cultural witness who works at a paying, usually secular, job overseas. Often they are able to gain entry into "closed" countries which restrict traditional mission efforts. 10/40 Window: The area of the world between latitudes 10 degrees and 40 degrees north of the equator in the Eastern hemisphere, covering North Africa, Middle East and Asia. The window has in view most of the world's
areas of greatest physical and spiritual need, most of the world's leastreached peoples and most of the governments that oppose Christianity. Unreached People Group (UPG): A people or people group among whom there is no viable indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize their own people without outside (cross-cultural) assistance. Visa: Gives you written permission to travel in someone else's country. World Evangelization: The whole Church taking the whole gospel to the whole world. The goal of giving every person the opportunity to hear the gospel in a way they understand, to become disciples of Christ, and to join with others in fellowship without leaving their own culture or people.
"To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map." — William Carey, pioneer missionary to India and generally known as the father of modern missions "The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become." — Henry Martyn, missionary to India and Persia "The Great Commission1 is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed" — Hudson Taylor, missionary to Inland China "If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?" — David Livingstone, pioneer missionary to the Interior of Africa "If ten men are carrying a log — nine of them on the little end and one at the heavy end — and you want to help, which end will you lift on?" — William Borden, as he reflected on the numbers of Christian workers in the U.S. as compared to those among unreached peoples in China "Missions is the overflow of our delight in God because missions is the overflow of God's delight in being God." — John Piper "We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God." — John Stott "Tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ." — Francis Xavier, missionary to India, the Philippines, and Japan "I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ." — Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf "The history of missions is the history of answered prayer." — Samuel Zwemer “The future is as bright as the promises of God.” – Adoniram Judson, pioneer missionary to Burma “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God” – William Carey, pioneer missionary to India
A product of Campus Outreach Augusta For more information: www.coaugusta.org For unreached peoples info: www.joshuaproject.net
Published on May 10, 2013