8 Statistics From “The Global War On Christians”

The Global War On ChristiansI found some of the statistics reported in The Global War On Christians by John L. Allen, Jr., to be quite eye-opening. You can read my full book review by clicking here, but these are some of the stats that caught my attention—

“Open Doors… estimates that one hundred million Christians worldwide presently face interrogation, arrest, torture, or even death because of their religious convictions.” 

“Two of the world’s leading demographers of religion, David B. Barrett and Todd Johnson, have performed an exhaustive statistical analysis of Christian martyrdom, reaching the conclusion that there have been 70 million martyrs since the time of Christ. Of that total, fully half, or 45 million, went to their deaths in the twentieth century, most of them falling victim to either Communism or National Socialism. More Christians were killed because of their faith in the twentieth century than in all previous entries combined. … Christians today are, by some order of magnitude, the most persecuted religious body on the planet, suffering not just martyrdom but all the forms of intimidation and depression mentioned above in record numbers. That’s not a hunch, or a theory, or in anecdotal impression, but an undisputed empirical fact of life.”

“In 1919, just 9 percent of Africa was Christian. As of early 2013 it was 63 percent, for a grand total of 380 million Christians on the continent. These folks are scattered across a stunning 552,000 congregations and 11,500 denominations…. Most of this growth has occurred since the last quarter of the twentieth century and is the result of indigenous African evangelizing efforts rather than Western missionaries.”

The top five most hazardous nations on earth in which to be a Christian:

  1. North Korea
  2. Afghanistan
  3. Saudi Arabia
  4. Somalia
  5. Iran

“One estimate is that there are 47 million Pentecostals in China alone, despite the best efforts of the officially atheistic government to rein in their expansion. … The Center for the Study of Global Christianity, which issues the much-consulted World Christian Database, says there are 111 million Christians in China, roughly 90 percent Protestant. That would make China the third largest Christian country on earth, following only the United States and Brazil.” 

“Open Doors… estimates the total number of Christians in North Korea to range from 200,000 to half a million, with at least a quarter of those believers currently behind bars in prison camps.”

“In the 1990s… conversions from Catholicism to Protestantism in Latin America during the twentieth century actually surpassed the Protestant Reformation in Europe in the sixteenth century.”

“A September 2012 report by the Pew Forum concluded that ‘a rising tide of restrictions on religion [has] spread around the world.’ Among other points, the study found that 37 percent of nations in the world have high or very high restrictions on religion, up from 31 percent a year ago, a six-point spike in just 12 months, and that three-quarters of the world’s population of 7 billion, meaning 5.25 billion people, live in countries with high or very high restrictions on religion. That’s up from 70 percent from the previous year.”

You can also read some quotes from this amazing book by clicking here.

A Caution About Success

CautionAfter King David had been firmly established as the king of Israel, he wanted to show the world how devoted he was to God, and undertook to bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem.

This move came after “David knew that the Lord had established him as king” and “that his kingdom had been highly exalted for the sake of God’s people” (2 Samuel 5:12; 1 Chronicles 14:2). David also asked the people about bringing the ark to Jerusalem and “it seemed right to all the people” (1 Chronicles 13:4).

Hooray! It sure sounds like David is using his new position as king to do something wonderful for his people. But…

Even with David’s knowledge that God had established him, David proceeded in a way that was displeasing to God, by attempting to move the ark in a way that God never sanctioned (2 Samuel 6:3; 1 Chronicles 13:7).

When things are going well and there seems to be a lot of positive momentum, we cannot abandon the things that brought God’s success in the first place! 

David had a habit of inquiring of God (2 Samuel 5:19, 23; 1 Chronicles 14:10, 14) which had led to his God-given success (1 Chronicles 14:17). But in the excitement of moving the ark, and the applause of the people David said, “We did not inquire of Him” (15:13) nor did they undertake the task “in accordance with the Word of the Lord” (15:15).

CAUTION!!! We can never be too careful about inquiring of God nor consulting His Word. A danger of success is that we abandon those things which God blesses and simply ride the positive momentum of the moment. No matter how popular or obvious a thing may seem, don’t forget to pray about it and consult God’s Word about it!

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