Hello BRN Family! It’s good to be with you today!

Every year, the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary presents an annual snapshot report of global Christianity. This report provides a statistical overview of the world’s 2.6 billion Christians and their activities from 1900, projecting toward 2050.

Lifeway Research has studied this 2024 Status of Global Christianity report and has discovered several positive trends that paint a picture of a healthy, growing global church. I shared some of those trends with you a few weeks ago. Today, I would like to share some of the concerning trends they discovered.

First, the research has shown that Islam is growing faster than Christianity. Even though Christianity is growing, the growth of Islam is outpacing its growth. By the middle of this year, there will be more than 2 billion adherents of Islam globally, behind only Christianity, which will be at 2.6 billion.

Second, the Christian faith is experiencing rapid growth in many places around the world, which is good news! But here is the hard news: the Christian faith is in decline in both Europe and North America. Over the next 30 years, the Christian population in Europe will fall below the level it reached in 1970. And tragically, here in North America, we are following in Europe’s footsteps.

Third, over the previous century, the percentage of people without access to the gospel has been falling. Unfortunately, now the reverse is happening. There is a slow increase in the number of the un-evangelized. By the midpoint of 2024, nearly 28% of the world will not have access to the gospel. That equates to almost 2.3 billion people… people we need to be praying for and with whom we need to share the gospel.

Another unfortunate fact is more dollars earmarked for Christian causes are being misused. Giving is growing, but ecclesiastical crime is rising even faster. Case in point: in 2020, $67 billion, up from $19 billion in the year 2000, was embezzled by church leaders. $67 billion! According to a Lifeway Research study, around 1 in 13 U.S. Protestant pastors say someone has embezzled funds from their church. May God help us!

Lastly, and sadly, current research shows the rate of martyrdom is rebounding. Currently, according to trends identified in Open Doors’ World Watch List 2024, “Sub-Saharan Africa—the epicenter of global Christianity—remains the epicenter of violence against followers of Jesus.” The countries where Christians are in the most danger are primarily in the areas where the faith is growing the most, Africa and Asia. Let’s pray fervently for our Christian brothers and sisters across the globe.

All of these statistics, which you can read in detail at the link below, emphasize the work that is ahead of us. We are so grateful for all you do in Pennsylvania and South Jersey and all around the world. Thank you for giving to the Cooperative Program. Let’s keep pushing back lostness.  If you need any assistance, feel free to contact the Help Desk at helpdesk@brnunited.org or 717-652-5856. Thanks for listening in today. May God bless you!

The trends in this video come from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s 2024 report. To read Lifeway Research’s analysis, visit here.