hope for churches in stress

Global Shifts

Is the Christian faith dying? It may seem that way in Europe and North America.

In an article in the Washington Post (May 20, 2015), Wes Granberg-Michaelson, a longtime leader in the American Church, cites indications of a dramatic shift in Christendom.

  • 100 years ago, 80% of the world’s Christians lived in Europe and North America. Today the percentage has fallen to 40%.

  • 25% of the world’s Christians now live in Africa, creating a majority in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Over the last 100 years, the number of Christians in Asia has increased twice as fast as the rate of population growth.

  • Of 5,000 students at Fuller Seminary (Pasadena, Calif.), 1,000 are Asian and Asian-Americans.

  • According to the best estimates, more Christians will be at worship this Sunday in China than in the United States.

  • In Latin America, professing Christians (90% of the population) are becoming more pentecostal and charismatic.

  • Among current immigrants to the United States, about 60% are Christians.

Contrary to perceptions, the Christian faith is not dying. It is shifting to the global South and East. And immigrant Christ-followers are surging into Europe and North America.

The gates of hell have not been able to withstand the resilient faith and fervent witness of Christ-followers around the world (Mt. 16:18).

This same promise can hearten us. As we emulate our global brothers and sisters in their fervor, and partner with ones nearby, we will shine as lights in the darkening West (Phil 2:15)

Learn more in Wes Granberg-Michaelson’s book,

From Times Square to Timbuktu: The Post-Christian West Meets the Non-Western Church (Eerdmans, 2013)

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Barnabas Initiatives is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donors are invited to contribute. Client churches are asked to reimburse expenses, but are not assessed a fee for service. Instead, as they are able, churches are asked to consider a per diem or customized contribution. 

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