A few remarkable statements

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Oct 05, 2009 by Howard Baker | 0 Comments

A few remarkable statements and statistics from the first chapters of Mark Noll's The New Shape of World Christianity compiled by Skye Jethani, Out of Ur Newletter, October 2, 2009:

Today there are more missionaries from Brazil engaged in cross-cultural ministry than from Britain or Canada.

There are over 10,000 foreign Christian workers serving in Britain, France, Germany, and Italy—and more than 35,000 in the U.S. Most of the missionaries in Britain are from Africa and Asia.

"This past Sunday it is possible that more Christian believers attended church in China than in all of so-called 'Christian Europe.'"

"This past Sunday more Presbyterians were in church in Ghana than in Scotland."

"Today, the largest Christian congregation in Europe is in Kiev, and it is pastored by a Nigerian of Pentecostal background."

"More than half of all Christian adherents in the whole history of the church have been alive in the last one hundred years. Close to half of Christian believers who have ever lived are alive right now."

In 1900, over 80 percent of the Christian population was Caucasian and over 70 percent lived in Europe. Now, according to historian Dana Robert, "The typical late twentieth-century Christian was no longer a European man but a Latin American or African Woman."

“What does all of this mean?” asks Skye Jethani. “I'll have to keep reading Noll to find out. But I do have a few thoughts of my own. First, it means those of us in the West should be taking a more humble posture. Despite having more resources and education than any other Christians in history, we have been overseeing a significant contraction in the church. At the same time, our African, South Asian, and Latin American brothers and sisters—often under resourced—are watching the church expand beyond belief. Maybe we don't have church/mission figured out. Maybe we should be learning from them.”

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