The Browning of the Faithful
Most American Christians pay no attention to the missionary efforts around the globe, content to enjoy their churches every week and let God take care of the rest of the world. But while Americans slept, the other parts of the world have taken over the church profile.
Twenty years ago the profile of the international Christian believer was ‘female, speaks Spanish, lives near the equator, is poor, and speaks in tongues.’ No one noticed then. Things have changed.
Muslims in Asia Catholics report conversions in Mongolia which have always been pro-democracy. Mongolia’s famous leader, Genghis Kahn, ran a democratic operation, including women in leadership positions even thought he was ruthless against his enemies. Mongolians were not permitted to attend the 2008 Olympics in China for fear they would bring religious missionaries and political dissidents with them. A popular Mongolian priest has a $60 million price on his head, as Muslims are frightened about his successes.
Communism is god, not God
Communism suppresses Christians because they believe God is more important than the state or the government.
In the Middle East disgust over terrorism and refugee problems have brought in many believers. Most of these new believers are Pentecostal or charismatic, depending on your choice of words.
In Europe refugees flock to nearly dead Christian churches. “At Trinity church in the Berlin suburb of Steglitz, the congregation has grown from 150 two years ago to almost 700, swollen by Muslim converts, according to Pastor Gottfried Martens. Earlier this year, churches in Berlin and Hamburg reportedly held mass conversions for asylum seekers at municipal swimming pools. ” Presumably the pools are for baptisms.
Converts still represent very small numbers but their new freedom will be recognized by relatives who still are under the boot of Islam. Still 900,000 is a large number when compared to the white-ness of Christians in the West.
In China the conversion rate appears small because the entire population is so large – almost five times as many Chinese as Americans. The current number is over 100 million, that is almost one third the entire population of the USA. If America suddenly added the entire Christian population of China it would change the face of the Church overnight.
In South Asia there is still great persecution of believers in Thailand and Malaysia. But both South Korea and the Philippines are heavily Christianized and have been for decades. They are considered the evangelists for the Pacific Rim.
India still persecutes Christians but the faith is showing some progress. The fact that India worships over 30 million gods surely helps when our God is only One.
Will a brown-colored church flock make any difference? Probably not. The basic tenet of the faith is that all men are created equal and most church governance has not be highly structured in the last 50 years.
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