Why Christianity is Booming Outside of Europe and North America

A girl carrying a cross arrives to celebrate mass at Saint Charles Lwanga church in Bangui on December 15, 2013. The Central African Republic’s president offered yesterday to hold talks with Christian militia groups in efforts to end spiralling sectarian violence that has killed hundreds of people in a week.
AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Why is Christianity booming in the global South, but seemingly stagnant in the global North? A new fascinating book offers an answer.

Dr. Glenn Sunshine is a long-time Fellow at the Colson Center, and he’s that rare sort of historian who sees the sweep of intellectual and cultural history, and then brings it all together in a way that not only explains the past, but advances our understanding of the here and now.

His new book, co-authored with Jerry Trousdale, is called “The Kingdom Unleashed: How Jesus’ 1st-Century Values Are Transforming Thousands of Cultures and Awakening His Church.”

In the book, by telling compelling stories of God at work through ordinary people—both today and throughout history—Sunshine and Trousdale counter the prevailing myth that Christianity is in decline around the globe.

Take, for example this story from Africa.

Hassan, president of a ministry to Muslims, “reached out to one particularly resistant Muslim community that had martyred six Christian evangelists a few years ago.” Hassan saw the community needed a school, so he “approached the Muslim leaders and offered to send a qualified teacher (who was also a trained church planter) if the community provided the necessary resources.”

This practical assistance opened the door to these closed communities. In two years, Sunshine and Trousdale describe, seven churches were planted.

But there’s more to this story. Some of the local Muslim leaders, upset by the spread of Christianity, hauled Hassan before the Muslim governor of the state. He used the opportunity instead to speak about the grace of God, and how God had helped the ministry provide this community with mobile medical clinics, dentists, safe water programs, seed banks, and schools—all to serve Muslims.

As Sunshine and Trousdale conclude, “Many of the Muslim clerics who had entered that meeting burning to have Hassan deported walked away with his business card or plans for further conversation.”

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and Stan Guthrie