One of the factors in my Global District Survey is the presence of significant violence. This is a strong ‘negative’ factor in the Outlook for church growth. Where wars are being fought, access is restricted, churches and believers are often targeted (either because they are ‘the wrong religion’ or often because they stand for peace or try to help people on both sides), civilians (including, obviously, believers) are killed indiscriminately, and people are forced to flee the area. The Gospel obviously can flourish in times of war and uncertainty, but the church can also be wiped out. We see this happening now in the Middle East: a flourishing movement in Libya has been decimated by civil war, and Christians are being forced out of Syria/Iraq areas. So we ought to pray for peacemaking and an end to war.
Special note: this map is a little bit “beta.” All of these are active, but I might have missed a war or two. I’ve been going over and over the data, but I’m hoping my readers will point out any ‘missed’ areas.
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Click the image for the full-size version. I’m experimenting with the Global Ministry Mapping System I just received from GMI, attaching data from my District Survey. Here’s a first map. It’s pretty simple–just mapping populations by province, for 2010–but even simple maps can be profound. Leave aside for the moment the question of which provinces have existing Christian resources, and let’s just think for a moment about the size of the populations. In the map below, as indicated on the key, if the typical movement reaches 100,000 people, each green province (there are a half dozen) will require more than 500 movements. This is a massive challenge that we must face up to. Feel free to download and repost or reuse this map; Patrons will find high resolution copies in both JPG and PDF form in the Patron Dropbox Folder. (Not a Patron? Become one with a single gift of $100 for 2015.)
About 2 billion people live in the following provinces, and represent the majority of the remaining task. The map is measured as the provinces with the most people, that also have the highest % professing non-Christian (e.g. they are Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc). Reach the Top 40, Change the World. (Other provinces likewise have large numbers of unreached. See the methodology notes at bottom.)
Note: clicking the image should lead to a high resolution version. If you’d prefer it in some other format, drop me a line at email@example.com.