Focus On Mission

Where Have All The Pagans Gone?

In the year 2000 only about 40% of the worlds population will identify themselves as Christians, according to World Christian magazine, quoting figures from the international Bulletin of Missions Research.

While 2.1 billion people will identify themselves as Christians, the world will contain 1.2 billion Muslims (Islam is the fastest growing religion, largely cause of the Muslim birth rate), 860 million Hindus, 360 million Buddhists, and 240 million folk religionists. 1 billion people will describe themselves as non-religious and 260 million will identify themselves as atheists. However, Christianity will continue to grow, the article predicted; especially in Latin America, Africa south of the

Sahara and Asian counties like China, Taiwan and Korea . ... Western nations, traditionally Christian will continue to stray from the path into increased secularism and amorality on the one hand and occultism and the New Age on the other. The centres of influence and focus are shifting from the Church in the West to the Church in the developing world.

According to Dr. Bryant Myers, director of World Visions research branch MARC, the former pagan world is now the numerical centre of Christ's Church. Christianity is becoming a non-western religion.

Western missionary efforts, however, are still primarily directed to, nominally Christian

countries. Quoting the AD2000 Global Monitor, the article noted that over 90% of foreign missionaries, 87% of mission funding, and over 94% of fulltime Christian workers work in and for countries in which at least 60% of the people identify themselves as Christians.

Only 1.2% of funding and missionaries are directed to the least evangelised world. The least evangelised world stretches from Saharan Africa through the Middle East to China and Indonesia. This group, which includes over 80% of the world's poorest people, includes twenty-eight Muslim countries, and seven Buddhist, three Marxist, and two Hindu countries.

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