by various authorsThe Seven Most Encouraging
The American mission agency GMI (Global Mapping) asked Patrick Johnstone, author of the recently updated prayer handbook ‘Operation World,' to list the seven most encouraging trends of the 1990s. This is his list:
In the 1990s, the Evangelical movement grew faster than ever before, according to our massive database of detailed research reaching back to the 1960s.
The AD2000 movement
The AD2000 movement was the most effective and best-targeted global network for promoting world mission which ever existed. It helped initiate church planting projects among unreached people groups, created synergy in the Body of Christ, and was instrumental in the birth of many missions initiatives.
The collapse of the Iron Curtain
The collapse of the Iron Curtain and the end of the USSR created completely new opportunities for mission in Central Asia. Brother Andrew's 1984 challenge to pray for 7 years for the fall of the Iron Curtain was taken up and, to the astonishment of an unbelieving church, fulfilled.
Thousands of Muslims turn to Jesus
More than ever before, Muslims turned to Jesus: Northern African Berbers, Jordanians, Bosnians, and Afghanis. In 1991, Brother Andrew called for 10 years of prayer for the Islamic world to open to the gospel. The attack on the World Trade Center on 11th September, 2001, could be a key moment for a divided Islamic world looking for an alternative belief system.
Starting with only 4 million Christians in 1949, the Body of Christ in China grew to over 90 million in the year 2000. The development of truly indigenous forms of Christianity, despite growing persecution at the end of the 1990s, is one of the most important factors in 21st Century Christianity.
The astonishing and mostly undocumented growth of the church in India
The official numbers (2.34% Christians in 1991) are far lower than the truth, deliberately hiding the true extent of Christianity in the nation. The true figures are certainly far more than double, and look like only the beginning. The ‘untouchable' Dalits have started leaving Hinduism, which could lead to an immense growth of Indian churches.
Christian media's decisive contribution
Christian media have changed the faith and world view of millions. Significant examples are the Jesus film, satellite television such as SAT7 in the Arab world, Christian radio in China and India, and the explosive growth of interest in using the Internet for evangelisation and discipleship.
via Friday Fax