Jan 03: World, Global Trends to Watch - Social

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Area: 134,940,000 sq km

Antarctica, with 14 million sq km, is not included.

Population: 6,908,000,000    Annual Growth: 1.20%

Urbanites: 51%


    Languages: 6,909


Largest Religion: Christian

Religion               Pop %Ann Gr

Answer to Prayer

The unprecedented harvest of new believers continues across Africa, Asia and Latin America, in contrast to the relative stagnation or decline in the rest of the world. The tables below reveal a remarkable story of a growing, spreading and diversifying Church. The table of statistics shows the relative change of the world’s population for each of the MegaBlocs. Christianity has slightly declined as a percentage of the world’s population since 1900 – only the Protestant, Independent and Marginal MegaBlocs have defied this trend to gain a proportion of the world’s population.

a) Christianity re-affirmed as a global religion. The concept of Christianity as a European “white-man’s religion” is demonstrably a myth. Though sometimes small in number, all but concealed, or mostly members of a minority people group, there are now Christians living and fellowshipping in every country on earth. World mission, globalization and high migration rates have dispersed the Church into every corner of the world, both to previously unevangelized areas and back to traditionally Christian regions where the Church is in sharp decline.

b) The astonishing shift of Christianity’s centre of gravity to the Majority World. The tables reveal that, though Christianity’s percentage in the world population has changed little, the proportions between the Majority World and the West/North have changed dramatically. This is praiseworthy, as hundreds of millions heard the good news for the first time in the past century. It is also an indication that the missionary efforts of the past 200 years have borne incredible fruit, though at times it was slow in coming. Years and generations of prayer and faithful service to the unevangelized world by both missionaries and indigenous Christians have not been in vain.

c) The strength and growth of the Church in lands that now have, or have had in the past, severe persecution. Some examples of places where both persecution and Church growth are prominent include China, India, Sudan, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Iran and Myanmar, to name but a few.

     For an additional 7 Answers to Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.

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The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of World.



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Challenge for Prayer

Technological developments have taken modern civilization in unanticipated directions. There are no flying cars, moon colonies or teleportation devices (yet!), but technology has advanced in a number of areas at a rate no one could have conceived. In all of these areas are great potential benefits and risks as well as the human ability to exploit them for good or for evil.

a) Communications technology that connects machines, people and communities. The digital revolution continues to push forward. The ubiquity of the Internet and the rapid global exchange of information radically alter the way the world works – financially, politically and socially. Cyber warfare, therefore, is an area of quickly increasing interest and growth.

b) Developments in computing and mobile phone technologies continue at a dizzying rate. Ever-smaller components with ever-greater processing power, robotics, cloud programming, artificial intelligence and virtual reality may all profoundly impact the future of every area of our lives. One risk for ministry is the reduced amount of personal, face-to-face contact that may occur for humans in the future, but the above two trends also point toward the possibility of seeing the gospel reach every last corner of human population via new media.

c) Medical technology is likewise pressing forward – especially into new areas such as genetics (particularly in mapping the genome of humans, animals and plants) and stem cell and cloning research.

d) Energy research is possibly the highest profile and most globally important area needing technological progress. Fossil fuels are highly polluting, nuclear power dangerous and alternative energies – such as bio-fuels, solar, wind and wave – are as yet inefficient and inadequate. More than ever before, finding efficient, safe, non-polluting, renewable energy sources is attracting greater research and investment. A breakthrough in energy technology would transform the world’s economy and ecology.

e) Nanotechnology has profound implications in almost every area of human activity – medicine, computing, engineering and communications to name a few.

     For an additional 5 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.

More Information

The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Social.