By Editorial Staff
Published December 22, 2007
OXFORD, England (WEIS) – A broad analysis of trends in world evangelization by the international director of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization predicts the largest response to the Gospel between now and AD 2000 will be in Latin America, India and China.
Tom Houston of Oxford, England, estimates that by AD 2000, there could be 50 million new believers in Latin America, 40 million in India, and 30 million in China.
Houston’s forecasts entitled, A Scenario Status of World Evangelization, 1991-2000, are in the final stages of editing for possible publication by Missions Advance Research and Communication Center (MARC) in Monrovia, Calif., USA.
Houston says research by David Barrett, Patrick Johnstone and Frank Kaleb Jansen shows that Christians are only marginally increasing their percentage of the world population by 0.1 percent per annum. Barrett is author of the World Christian Encyclopedia, (1982), Johnstone is author of Operation World, (1986), and Jansen is author of Target Earth, (1989).
The “Scenario Status” is forecast in what Houston describes as “relatively homogeneous regions,” with data on the status of world evangelization in various countries within each region. In each section, Houston also summarizes key factors and trends which affect evangelization in that region.
The greatest response to the gospel, he says, will be in Latin America where 50 million new believers are anticipated. Currently members of Protestant/Evangelical churches comprise about 11 percent of the population. Houston predicts evangelical churches will continue to grow because of the Biblical message and warm fellowships they provide. About 75 percent of the evangelicals are Pentecostal.
Houston also forecasts fast growth of “mega-churches” like the Jotabeche church in Santiago, Chile, and the Vision of the Future church in Argentina. He says eight Assemblies of God churches in Brazil report memberships of 20,000 to 110,000.
Houston projects the possibility of 40 million new Christian believers in India, or five percent of the population, if the Christian churches can respond to the barriers they face. “India has the people resources, the education in its leadership, and a great story of contributing to nation development,” Houston observes.
China and the Soviet Union
In China, the phenomenal growth of Christianity will continue, but at a slower pace than in past decades. Houston projects 30 million new believers in China, or three percent in 10 years.
In post-Marxist republics of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Houston cites 18 trends and characteristics which could lead to as many as 20 million people turning to Christ in the next 10 years.
In Southern, Eastern and Central Africa, Houston projects a total of 11 million new believers in non-Islamic parts of Africa. “Churches (in East and Central Africa) have struggled and grown incredibly in spite of, or perhaps because of adverse circumstances,” Houston says. “The churches will continue to grow … because they are the only element of hope in a bad situation.”
In describing church growth in Indonesia, Malaysia, Comoros, Brunei and Maldives, Houston believes “achieving a 20 percent of population professing faith in Christ should be possible in 10 years. That would mean about 24 million converts.”
Other Islamic sections of the world where response to evangelization is 10 percent of the population are in the African countries of Niger, Guinea, Mali, the Gambia, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and South Sudan. Houston forecasts about 23 million new believers there. If there is a major and unexpected favourable shift in the Islamic political scene in Pakistan and Bangladesh, Houston said there could be as many as 20 million people who might come to faith in Christ in those countries.
Challenges that face the Gospel
Houston says that poverty and literacy are significant factors indicating where the gospel needs to be preached. Low literacy rates call for a strong focus on the spread of literacy and use of non-print media in Christian communication, he observes.
In response to the scenario, Houston says Christians concerned about world evangelization should focus on the great blocks of resistant peoples, the greater openness to the gospel in light of the changing face of Communism, the challenge of secularism, migration, urbanization, poverty, injustice, corruption, and the mobilization of laity.
He also urges Christians to focus on “the concept of all the people of God in one place having a total strategy for evangelizing the place where God has placed them that puts the churches and the parachurch organizations in joint harness as different expressions of the one people of God.”
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » World Events
Your comments are welcome!
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 219 pages
Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion
This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.
Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.
“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan
Running time: 85 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the free Study Guide!
Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?
This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.
Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.
The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?
As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).
Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.
Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!
Running Time: 195 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)