By Jay Rogers
Published April 10, 2008
It’s happening all over the world!
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY, 80 percent of the world’s Christians were in the Americas and Europe. The number is now only 40 percent, because most of the new Christians are in Asia and Africa. The city of Boston and the ethnicity of some of the Christian campus and church leadership are indicative of this.
Revival expert Frank Kellam writes: “I am confident that God-breathed revival will spread rapidly across the globe. There is no other way to win the war on terror and other spiritual battles no other way to see dominion advance in the Great Commission except by the Person of the Holy Spirit in God’s people.”
If the traditionally Christian West continues to deny God’s sovereign grace via self-centered syncretism, then the Holy Spirit will bring revival even in “evangelical” America from sources and areas of the world we might least expect. The following is a brief survey of five such “hot spots” in the world:
Some call Almolonga, Guatemala the “Miracle City” because of the radical transformation of these descendants of the Mayans. In 1974, following the pattern of historic revivals, 90 percent of the town’s 18,000 residents were converted to Christ. Churches grew from four congregations in 1974 to 23 today. Since the power of God started transforming the community, crime has taken a definite downturn. The last jail closed in 1989 and is now remodeled as a place for celebrating weddings, receptions, and community events. The family sphere of society before was at the bottom. Women were largely viewed simply as servants. Since the Gospel came, both sexes have had the same opportunities. A Christian work ethic has produced an economic renewal. There is not the high unemployment that is rampant in other cities in this region. (CBN)
The ailing die-hard communist dictator, Fidel Castro, has spent half a century trying to enforce atheistic Marxism and close churches. Yet today the Cuban church is stronger than ever. The Assemblies of God is the largest evangelical denomination on the island. It has several hundred established churches as well as thousands of cell groups. There are an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 of these house churches meeting in Cuba today. The Christian revival has affected Castro’s family. One of his nephews reportedly attends an evangelical church and has actually invited the president to attend.
What lies ahead for the Cuban church? Many observers say that Raúl Castro will not be able to keep his brother’s communist dictatorship in place. An emerging “shadow government” is thought to be in the hands of some of the underground church pastors who have effectively networked and planned for the day when Cuba will be free. Some plan to send out foreign missionaries to the nations of the world including the United States. (Charisma News)
Prior to the reforms of the late 1980s and early ’90s, evangelical churches met illegally in Ukraine. Ministers were often given harsh jail sentences for preaching and distributing Christian literature.
In 1994, Pastor Sunday Adelaja came from Nigeria to Kiev, Ukraine to begin The Embassy of God Church. The church has grown in 12 years from seven people to about 20,000 members, now the largest church in Europe. Pastor Sunday’s congregation is 99 percent white Europeans who follow an African leader, showing that heaven-sent revival truly breaks down racial barriers.
Over one thousand people are fed daily in the church’s “Stephania Soup Kitchen.” The church established homes for abandoned children. Over 500 of these children have been restored to families. The Embassy of God television ministry reaches over 100 million homes across Europe, Africa and Russia. Political and Senate leaders attend the church regularly and some are members. The Embassy of God is involved in the transformation of all strata of society, with works going on in the schools, factories, banks and other social groups of society. The church is constructing a 20,000 seat church building in Kiev, the first of its kind in Europe.
The churches in Kiev were at the forefront of the peaceful “Orange Revolution” of early 2005, which brought a change to the corrupt government. The policies of the new president are now more sympathetic to religious freedom for the churches of Ukraine. (FRl)
Until the 20th century, Korea was an isolated land fearful of strangers. However, news of the 1904 Welsh revival filtered through, and Christians began to pray fervently that God would pour out a similar blessing on Korea. In 1907, at a Bible conference in the northern city of Pyongyang, a sudden urgency to pray gripped the bulk of those present. They continued in prayer for hours and God’s presence was felt. Enemies made their peace with one another. Stolen goods were returned. People confessed and wept over their hatred of the Japanese and Americans.
During World War II, the Japanese martyred Korean Christians for refusing to bow to the Emperor’s statue. With the war over, the churches continued the pattern of fervent prayer. This brought a fierce backlash from the communists who had taken control. Christians were crucified, preachers had their tongues cut out, and children caught at secret Sunday schools were deafened by having chopsticks rammed in their ears.
The 1950s Korean War allowed hundreds of refugee Christians to come south, bringing the revival with them. In 1954, a young Buddhist, dying of tuberculosis, was powerfully converted to Christ. Yonggi Cho began the Yoido Full Gospel Church with a second-hand American army tent in Seoul. It has grown to over half a million members!
This awakening has brought a work ethic and national prosperity to this impoverished war-torn nation. With an estimated one million Christians praying together for revival, today’s churches in Korea may have another revival with the upcoming 100th anniversary of Pyongyang Revival. Another Christian awakening in Korea could resolve the conflict between North and South and bring a peaceful end to world tensions. (Rene Monod, The Korean Revival, Hodder.)
In the year 2000, the nation of Fiji began to experience an astonishing spiritual awakening. It happened at the height of a crucial social upheaval when the churches united and interceded for God’s intervention. Since then, this mighty revival has transformed not only individuals but also whole villages in Fiji. The Fijian people have been witnessing signs and wonders even to this day God is literally healing their land. Citizens and government leaders alike say prayer is changing their country.
In May 2000, Fiji was torn in two. Ethnic tensions between Indians and indigenous Fijians sparked a military coup attempt, led by Fijian Nationalist George Speight. The government was held hostage for 56 days. Violence and chaos ruled the city. Suddenly, this paradise in the South Seas was crumbling to pieces. But just as its people were becoming helpless, a tremendous thirst for God and a spirit of personal soul-searching swept through the churches.
The President of Fiji, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, called the churches to unite in prayer and God began answering the cries of His people. In July 2000, Speight and his followers were arrested and God raised up leaders who honored Him. The Prime Minister of Fiji, Laisenia Qarase shocked a crowd of ten thousand as he boldly confessed his faith in God.
Today reconciliation and unity are evident among government and church leaders, and even among Fijians and Indians. Not only have personal lives been restored, but the land is literally being healed in almost every village. Fijians say that for 42 years, a certain stream among the dry hills caused barrenness, mental illness and even blindness to the people of Nuku. But then God miraculously healed these waters. They have now become a source of life.
Ratu Vuniani Nakauyaca, Director of Healing the Land Ministry, said, “We were calling the tribes, and some of the villagers here came to join us. During the course of that time, the chief in that area was installed, and he made a covenant between God and the people because during that time everybody in the community gave their heart to the Lord. As they made the covenant to God, three days into that process, the water was healed, mysteriously, miraculously.”
In the village of Nataleira, women villagers testify that fish can now be caught in abundance from the sea. Kalesi Liku is a villager of Nataleira, she said, “In the past, in the last 15 years, there was not much fish around here. After they saw the ‘Revival Fire,’ the fish began to come.”(CBN)
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