Examining Global Evangelism

This is the first part of an IndiaFacts series that examines global evangelism from its…

This is the first part of an IndiaFacts series that examines global evangelism from its origins up to the present time.


 

For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 13.47

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” – Mark 16:15

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. – Mathew 28:19-20

Evangelism has always been a central part of the Christian faith right from its inception. Given the political nature of this doctrine and the clear threat it poses to Hinduism, IndiaFacts analysed David. B Barrett and James W. Reapsome’s book “Seven Hundred Plans to Evangelize the World: The rise of a global evangelization movement.”

David Barrett (1927–2011) , an outstanding statistician-evangelist, and Reapsome, a retired pastor, published this book in 1988 with the ambitiously explicit aim of systematic statistical evaluation of the history of evangelism starting from 33 CE up to 1988 CE, covering 66 generations of Christian evangelism.

David Barrett

Meticulously researched, the book permeates with a war-like urgency in analyzing where evangelical efforts stand today, and what more is needed in order to realistically achieve a goal of converting the whole world into one religion, namely Christianity.

From the year 1800, global evangelism increased in a dramatic manner. Historian Kenneth Scott refers to the period from 1815 to 1914 as the “Great Century of missions.” From an average of 28 global evangelizing plans per generation in the 19th century, the share rose to 84 per generation in the third decade of the 20th century,and by 1941 it rose to a total of 147 plans per generation.

The authors call the Christians of that era as the “aware” generations, for their concerted efforts at increasing evangelism. But the most dramatic increase happened from 1950 to 1980. In one generation alone more than 315 distinct global missions were launched.

By the year 1988, when the book was published, there were as many as 1200 different evangelizing missions working across the world independently.

“Of the 788 plans, 97 (12%) arose before the Protestant Reformation and 245 (31%) arose before 1900. Half of them (388) occurred before 1950 and the other half since then. By 1984, one new plan a month was appearing; by 1985, one every two weeks. From 1990 onwards we can expect over one a week, which is over 50 a year, or over 1,500 a generation.”

Dissecting the Data

The authors analyze the overall status of evangelism by breaking up the data into three slots:

  • The Unevangelized World: 3030 unevangelized population segment**. Example: Uighurs, Zhuangs, IZMIR, Tibetans, Kabul, Berbers, Mongolians, Peking, Khmer, Tashkent, Kurds, Tehran.
  • The Evangelized Non-Christian World: – total of 4,870 population segments. Examples: Bangladesh, Vietnam, Rangoon, Japan, Jakarta, Arabs, Havana, Russia, etc.
  • The Christian World

** For a more focused approach to practical evangelism, the authors prescribe dividing the world population into target segments of 5,000 each.

Resources

Categories have also been created based on resources, chiefly monetary, available for this work.

Code Resources Plans
0 Negligible 69
1 Minimal 110
2 Limited 137
3 Modest 138
4 Sizeable 146
5 Massive 155
6 Gigantic 33

Sizeable resources refer to plans which involve over $100,000 a year over a period of 10 years. Considering that 146 plans are in this category, about 12 million dollars are invested in these missionary plans.

Massive resources refer to plans with budgetover $10 Million a year, for an average of 10 years. About 155 plans are in this category. Of these, 78 are not only financially massive but are also being aggressively implemented across the globe. The total monetary valuation of this category would be about $1500 million.

Gigantic resources refer to plans witha budgetover $100 million a year, or a total of $1 billion over the years. The largest of these plans-spends about $550 million a year on its own standalone world mission plan.

Therefore by reasonable estimates around the year 1988, global evangelism was a $20 billion industry. Today the figures must be much higher.

Gigaplans

Among the various conversion plans in existence, 78 are so massive in scope and resources that the authors named them “megaplans”. These are current, ongoing plans with budgets running upto hundreds of millions of dollars to achieve its stated goal of world evangelization.

The Following is a list of these 33 evangelical organizations along with their year of inception.

  1. Congress of Charismatic Leaders of World Evangelism – 1991.
  2. Decade of Universal Evangelization – 1990
  3. Decade of Harvest – 1987
  4. New Life 2000: A Revolutionary Plan – 1987
  5. Evangelization 2000 – 1987
  6. Global Strategy Committee, Seventh Day Adventists – 1985
  7. Integrity Keepers Conventions – 1985
  8. Project 223 – 1982
  9. The Jesus Project (‘Jesus’ Film) – 1979
  10. Bold Mission Trust – 1976
  11. Synod of Bishops: ‘Evangelization of the Modern World.’ – 1974
  12. Trinity Broadcasting Network – 1973
  13. International Catholic Charismatic Renewal – 1972
  14. Jimmy Swaggart Missionaries – 1969
  15. Sacred Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples – 1967
  16. Christian Broadcasting Network – 1961
  17. Youth with a Mission – 1960
  18. World Vision International – 1950
  19. Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association – 1947
  20. United Bible Societies – 1946
  21. Evangelical Foreign Missions Association – 1945
  22. Interdenominational Foreign Missions Association – 1917
  23. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society – 1870
  24. New Apostolic Church – 1863
  25. Southern Baptist Convention – 1845
  26. Seventh-day Adventists – 1844
  27. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – 1830
  28. Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church – 1819
  29. Propaganda Fide: Spreading the Faith – 1622
  30. Consistorial Congregation (Sacred Congregation for Bishops) – 1588
  31. Conversion of Islam and Whole World to Christ (Jesuits) – 1523
  32. Order of Preachers: Propagation of the Faith by Preaching – 1215
  33. Order of Friars: mendicant orders of travelling preachers – 1209

A Brief Look at the Mainline Christian Networks

There are nine, primarily Christian Church theological and practical epicenters which influence the Christian world and by extension, all virulent and mega-evangelism plans are rooted in one or more of these.

  1. Orthodox – Dating from 33 CE, they originated in Jerusalem at Pentecost on the eastern part of the erstwhile Roman Empire. It has a followership of more than 175 million Christians spread over 110 countries. Centuries of opposition by Islam and then Communism made them a tightly knit group, clandestine in demeanor. Their forays into evangelizing started at a much later date.
  2. Catholics – The Roman Catholics expanded their reach across the world using three great missionary networks – Franciscans (1209), Dominicans (1215), and Jesuits (1523). Foreign missions were organized under Propaganda Fide since 1622 AD. This was renamed in 1967 as the Sacred Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples. The Catholic Church serves 926 million church members in over 240 countries.
  3. Anglican – Born in the 1st century Britain, Anglicanism became a globally organized movement in 1867 and now serves 52 million baptized Anglicans in 165 countries. They are strongest in Britain, North America and Australasia.
  4. Protestant– The organized Protestant world dates back to the 7th century and is the fourth largest global network of Christians with adherents numbering more than 312 million.
  5. Third-World indigenous – These comprise a vast network of nearly 11,000 denominations indigenous to Third-World countries with no affiliation to Europe or America. They date back from the 16th century and have a following of more than 132 million people across 170 countries.
  6. Reformed Catholics – The smallest of the major networks, it has over 3.7 million members.
  7. Evangelical – This network of Churches started from 1738 with the emergence of the evangelical revival in Britain. This is more of a subdivision within Protestantism and has massive financial resources.
  8. Pentecostal/Charismatic – This movement, termed as the renewal of the Holy Spirit began in 1738 among Blacks in North America and Caribbean. The Pentecostal-Charismatic church receives personal incomes over $880 billion a year.
  9. Ecumenical – Started in 1855, this is the most recent of the major Christian networks. It controls the World Council of Churches with 398 million members. The Roman Catholics often cooperate with the Ecumenical network for shared objectives.

[Footnote: “Seven Hundred Plans to Evangelize the World: The rise of global evangelism movement” mentions on page 54 that the organized Protestant world dates back to 7th century, while Anglicanism dates from 1-st Century Britain, before it became organized in 1867. ]

The next part of the series will examine broadly the methods employed for evangelism in what are known as closed and closing countries.

IndiaFacts Staff articles, reports and guest pieces
  • Anita Roy

    Is this book available? I have looked at many of the obvious places.. but there seems to be no sign of the book anywhere except as reference material and library books!

  • Ram Ohri

    Kudos to Indiafacts for this seminal research on the fast growing footprints of evangelists across India, especially Punjab. Now the cat is out of the bag with the arrest of 2 Christian converts from Sikh faith for insulting Guru Granth Sahib. They had connections with anti-national elements enconsed in Dubai and Australia. Under Joshua Project the evangelists have an agenda to plant a chujrch in every village of Punjab; they have already done it in Andhra and Tamil Nadu. Punjab government must come down heavily on the attempts of evangelist to subvert Punjab which I consider as the HARD underbelly of India.

    Ram Ohri

    • Gautam Sharma

      Sh. Ram Ohri ji,

      Namaste,I too share your appreciation of India Facts for the stellar works they are doing in the service of Sanatan Dharma.

      I would like to correct your statement about the 2 youths arrested being Christian converts.They are not Christian converts,the news stories mentioned baptized Sikhs,it means initiated Sikhs who are have formally initiated into ”some higher level of the Sikh faith ”,wear the 5 signs of being a Sikh and probably have to do some mandatory daily reading of their scriptures etc.

      Regards,

      Gautam Sharma

      • Ram Ohri

        My information is that the two mischief mongers were no longer wearing the mandatory 5 Ks, not visiting the Gurdwara and were regularly going to a church planted in the neighbourhood

        Regards

        Ram Ohri.

  • importingtrash

    Christian conversions biggest threat to Hindus. Christians converted whole northeast India and SC, ST.(Tribals)

  • Dr. MS

    New from NBC Online

    Detroit, Michigan
    Reported By Alexander Smith
    OCT 19 2015,

    A pastor fatally shot a man who threatened his parishioners with a brick in Detroit, NBC station WDIV reported.

    The 25-year-old stormed into the busy City of God Church in Detroit’s west side on Sunday, police said.

    The pastor tried to help the man but “things went south,” according to WDIV. Authorities said the man had a history of threatening the pastor and members of the congregation.

    The pastor pulled out a gun and and fired four or five shots at the man, investigators said. He was taken to the city’s Botsford Hospital and pronounced dead.

    The 36-year-old pastor was being questioned at police headquarters.

    Sometimes evangelism and paranoia may also come with guns and deaths towards their own devotees, and the outsider non-devotees.

    How many shootings, murders and threats have occurred inside the churches?
    Sad and Scary.

    • Shubhangi Raykar

      Wasn’t the pastor taking law in his hands? Why wasn’t he arrested for a criminal act? Does the law in the American state where this happened give impunity to the Christian priests? just some curious questions.

    • Rama

      What is your point? What this stupid shooting has got to do with the article?

    • BalancedCentre

      Many, and don’t forget the inquisitions, witch-burnings, slave abuse/killings under full approval of the church and the pedophilia still prevalent among the church pastors that we hear about almost every day. Very SAD and SCARY indeed!

      • Dr. MS

        What is very depressing is that the Catholic Synod, which met in Vatican, in secrecy as they often do, did not change some basic rules about allowing divorced Catholics and remarried Catholics to receive the communion, and have sort-of left it to the discernment and judgment of the pastors on the ground. This in 21st century. If Hindus banned child marriage and widow burning in the 20th and the 19th century respectively…some church theologies or practices are still stuck in 15th century medievalism. But nobody is writing about “Islamization of Hinduism for centuries, and feudal or Victorian Christianization of Hinduism”. Hindu women got put behind the purdha by their own men due to Islamic invasion and occupation, and while Muslim women did have the option to divorce and remarry, though with a lot of restrictions, the HIndu woman got stuck with patriarchal feudal Hinduism, medieval patriarchal Islam and medieval feudal Christianity. the triple whammy.

        What research do we have on this?

  • Good Giffen

    “The organized Protestant world dates back to the 7th century”??? And you call yourself India”facts”? lol!

    • Hold back the loling, lamb of God. It is probably a typo, they meant 17th.

      • Good Giffen

        oh yes! Mean stuff from mean folks. Means a lot! I mean….

    • Grim Reaper

      Dude the book ‘Seven Hundred Plans to Evangelize the World: The rise of global evangelism movement’ mentions that…it is stated in the end…the authors dnt mention it…

  • Pramod Sharma

    The dates mentioned in this article match up with the world wars and the Cold war. Further on is this evangelism pushing us towards 3rd world war?

    • Good Giffen

      wow! great insight. impeccable analysis. clap! clap!

  • NARAYAN RAO

    The very first sentence is an opinion stated as a fact ! So much for being true to your name.

    Care to say how evangelism poses a threat to Hinduism ?

    • Neo

      errrr… by marring the names of dharmic guru’s and employing cunning pigs to do their dirty work and send thousands of dung beatles to convert people by preaching bad things about Hinduism ???

    • suru

      Not only preaching bad things about Hinduism as Neo said but also doing uncultured activities these people carry out when some one is getting converted. You may ask a person the procedure with which the person got converted.

    • Pramod Sharma

      And are you truly Narayan Rao? or an Imposter

      • Krispy K

        Who knows for sure what brand of brainless Hindu-hater this troll is?

        Commie?
        Christian bible-thumper with a fake Hindu name?
        Muslim terrorist with a fake Hindu name?
        Paki goat-raper from across the border?

        Or some combination of two or more of these categories?

        Given its reaction whenever JNU is mentioned, I would suggest its another indoctrinated JNU drone with a fake name who is feeling very insecure about the future. To be fair, it has good reason to be.

    • Good Giffen

      Bingo! Indiafacts is always only about opinion.

    • arunprasad n

      Simply their business is to convert non-Christians by talking ill about other religions – convert and create animosity

    • importingtrash

      They (Christians ) couldn’t yet fully convert Hindus in India to their fold. That’s their goal. Example, “world Vision ‘ ,vision of whole world of Christians.. World vision operates in India, Africa among other countries

    • BalancedCentre

      HUH? Are you really that incredibly stupid or are you playing the denial game at the behest of your masters?? you’re not aware of the christianization of North-East to more than 90% christian population in some states? How did that happen? These converts were Hindus before, is that not a threat to Hinduism? Also, if you want to know about more “threats”, read about project joshua. Same thing ongoing in other states of India. Conversion tactics make the target hate/detest their own native religion and that ideology itself presents a big threat.