This year we pray that God would bless you and your family according to His Grace and Word of Promise. That the Day Star of Bethlehem would rise in your hearts and that the Light of His Word would illuminate the Narrow Way of Faith this coming New Year 2012. This year we have been meditating on the seldom sung second verse of a popular Christmas Carol "'O' Holy Night." May they bless you as they have us.
"Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand. O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming, Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land. The King of kings lay thus lowly manger; In all our trials born to be our friends. He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger, Behold your King! Before him lowly bend! Behold your King! Before him lowly bend! "
This Christmas Season, when we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior for all mankind, let's remember in prayer and plan this new year before us to help share with these precious people the Love the Gospel. Here are some statistics on just how unreached the Muslims are.
World Population: 7 billion people. One third of earth's people call themselves Christians. 680 million (11.5%) are Evangelicals or Bible reading Christians.
The Unreached Of the world's 15,958 Major People Groups, 6,415 (numbering 1.8 billion persons) are considered Unreached - though Christian work occurs among most of them. (www.joshuaproject.net)
Numbers of major religions: 2.0 Billion - Christians 680 Million - Evangelicals 1.3 Billion – Muslims
Annual Growth Rates: World population 1.6% Muslims 2.7%
"The 10/40 Window" There are an estimated 6,400 unreached people groups worldwide, which still need missionaries to plant Christ's church among them. Most of the unreached people groups are located geographically in what some scholars call- "The 10/40 Window" - from West Africa across Asia between 10 degrees latitude north of the equator to 40 degrees north.
Within this 10/40 window are: 1. Most of the world's unreached peoples. 2. Two-thirds of the world's population, although only one-third of the earth's land area. 3. The heart of the Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist religions. 4. Eight out of ten of the poorest of the world's poor enduring the world's lowest quality of living. 5. Only 2.4% of the world's missionary force and 0.01% of the income of the world's Christians. While some of these unreached people groups are scattered among various world cultures, the majority of them are primarily in five major cultural blocks 3,276 unreached Muslim groups. Over 1.3 billion individuals are Muslims. One sixth of the world's population.
Over two billion people live in these unreached people groups and every day some 50,000 of them perish without having heard the Gospel. That is about 26 million a year. 60% of unreached people groups live in countries closed to missionaries from North America.
Internationals 22 million internationals visit the US each year. Of these, some 630,000 are university students from 220 countries 25% of which prohibit Christian missionaries. 80% of those students will return to their countries having never been invited to an American home. -40% of the world's 220 Heads of State once studied in the US. -60% of international students come from the 10/40 window. -10% of international students are reached by ministries while in the United States.
The Resources Worldwide Christian churches devote more than 85% of their resources on our own development. That is, only 15% of this arsenal of personnel, finance, prayer, and tools goes to bless unreached people groups. In the U.S., the picture is even bleaker. According to the Bibles for All World Prayer Map, American Christians spend 95% of offerings on home-based ministry, 4.5% on cross-cultural efforts in already-reached people groups, and 0.5% to reach the unreached. American evangelicals could provide all of the funds needed to plant a church in each of the 6,400 people groups with only 0.2% of their income.
Missionaries: There are 430,000 Missionaries from all branches of Christendom. Only between 2 and 3% of these missionaries work among unreached peoples. 140,000 Protestant Missionaries. 64,000 Protestant Missionaries from the US. 6% Among Muslims
Money Global Church Member Finance (in US Dollars) 12.3 Trillion - Total Annual Income 11.4 Billion - To Foreign Missions (5.4% of giving to Christian causes) 87% of foreign mission money goes for work among those already Christian 1% for work among the unevangelized. The church of Christ has over 100 times the resources needed to plant native churches in these people groups.
Persecution and the global Church Active persecution of Christians takes place in: Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, North Korea, Laos, Vietnam, China, Iran, Morocco, Libya, Egypt and Algeria. Over 160,000 believers will be martyred this year. US missionaries make up only 30% of the world's missionaries. Our slightly declining annual number is being overtaken by increased participation from Africa, Latin America and Korea. Of those involved in missions in the US: 98% are Senders (Financial Support, Prayers, Mobilizers, Pastors) 0.5% are Servicers (Administrative, Tech Support, Training, Communication) 1.5% are Missionaries (Church Planting, Development, Tentmaking, Tribal Outreach, Health Services) Worldwide: Last year alone, about 120 million people were presented the gospel for the first time. About 1.7 billion people now listen to Christian radio or watch Christian TV on a monthly basis. Christians now spend 388 billion man-hours every year proclaiming the gospel in evangelism.
The stats above are adapted from data by David B. Barrett and Todd M Johnson of the Global Evangelization Movement web site. Other portions come from Patrick Johnstone's The Church is Bigger Than You Think, Bill and Amy Stearns' Catch the Vision 2000, and the course material for Vision for the Nations published by the US Center for World Mission.