NUMBER OF CHRISTIANS DECLINING RAPIDLY IN SO CALLED DEVELOPED COUNTRIES

The percentage of younger Americans being raised in nonreligious homes is growing rapidly according to statistics from the Public Religious Research Institute.

Only 65 percent of Americans now identify as Christian while those who identify as religiously unaffiliated swelled to 26 percent of the population. The drop in the number of Americans identifying as Christian reflected a 12 percent decline when compared to the general population 10 years ago. The decline was visible across multiple demographics but particularly among young adults.

Nearly one in five (19%) Americans switched from their childhood religious identity to become unaffiliated as adults, and relatively few (3%) Americans who were raised unaffiliated are joining a religious tradition. This dynamic has resulted in a dramatic net gain—16 percentage points—for the religiously unaffiliated.

In the 1970s, only about one-third (34%) of Americans who were raised in religiously unaffiliated households were still unaffiliated as adults. By the 1990s, slightly more than half (53%) of Americans who were unaffiliated in childhood retained their religious identity in adulthood. Today, about two-thirds (66%) of Americans who report being raised outside a formal religious tradition remain unaffiliated as adults,” PRRI said.

A similar situation exists in the UK, Europe and Australia. Sadly, also many of those that profess to be Christian are not born again believers and are increasingly compromising with the world and its values.

In the last days before Jesus return, He told His disciples we can expect the following:

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 24: 9-13

Persecution of Christians is on the increase as we insist on the truth about God’s laws concerning morality, particularly homosexuality, marriage and gender. How soon will it descend to “hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

CHURCH GROWS UNDER PERSECUTION

For the gospel did not did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, … 1 Thessalonians 1:5

Missionary strategists have been reporting for some time that Iran is experiencing the most impressive surge of church growth on the planet. Elam Ministries in England says more Iranians have become Christians since 1979 than in the previous 1,300 years. Some organisations estimate that there could be as many as 800,000 to 1 million believers in the country.

The political, economic, and spiritual situation in Iran resulted in a deep spiritual hunger for truth. Iran may be a closed land, but the people have open hearts. Iranians today are seen as the most open Muslim people to the Gospel in the world. As Elam reported, more have become Christians since the revolution than the previous 1,300 years put together.

But Iran is also one of the most difficult places on earth to be a Christian because of persecution from the hard-line Islamic government. Believers are jailed and tortured. Churches are forced to meet in secrecy. Yet one ministry there has reported that so many people are being converted they can’t keep enough Farsi Bibles in stock to give to new believers.

Iran-church

Elam Ministries says Iranian churches typically have between eight to 12 members only. To stay safely off the radar, the small churches multiply quietly. But this method of small-group discipleship actually produces stronger Christians than a bigger church would. Elam also reports that many people make decisions for Jesus after watching Christian television broadcasts.

In May of this year, Iran’s intelligence minister, Mahmoud Mahmoud Alavi, gave a speech to Muslim clerics in which he publicly decried the alarming growth of Christian faith. He announced that mass religious conversion to Christianity is “happening right before our eyes.”

Iran’s revival is also gaining more attention because of the new film Lambs Among Wolves, Vol. 2, a documentary produced by Frontier Alliance International Studios. One unidentified church leader in the movie asks: “What if I told you the mosques are empty inside Iran? What if I told you no one follows Islam inside of Iran? Would you believe me? This is exactly what is happening inside of Iran.” If you have not seen Lambs Among Wolves Vol 1 & 2 then do so and spread the word amongst your Christian friends that these videos are great evangelism tools. Joel Richardson (Joels Trumpet and The Underground) works with Frontier Alliance and I am confident that I have promoted these videos on previous posts.

U.S.A. DEMOCRATIC PARTY EMBRACES GODLESS VALUES

The Democratic Party has taken the nation to a new low. As major influencers continually advocate for a godless lifestyle, Christians are constantly put on the defensive. The latest blow comes as the Democratic Party issued a resolution in which it gladly embraces godless values.

The party wholeheartedly embraces abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage and a host of other practices the Bible calls sinful. Recently, Robert Jeffress was on Lou Dobbs Tonight, where he talked about the Democratic Party’s new godless resolution. In it, they said they enthusiastically supported the values of the religiously unaffiliated. “Religiously unaffiliated,” Jeffress pointed out, is just a code word for godlessness.

liberal-protest

If Christians so much as pray in Jesus’ name, liberals become hysterical and criticise the action as unconstitutional. For instance, during the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton supporters came out with a song to demonstrate the importance of voting for her. In the song, they used extremely foul language and even used a horrible expletive in connection to Jesus Christ at the end of the song when they called people to vote. It was utterly blasphemous, but when State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz  opened the Pennsylvania House with a powerful prayer in the name of Jesus, the left attacked her as Islamophobic.

Paul’s plea that we put on the whole armour of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil is pertinent to our culture’s battle today, recognising that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age. against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:11-12

Abstract from Steve Strang report in Charisma Magazine September 3rd 2019

HOW GOD USES CATASTROPHES FOR HIS PURPOSE

MUSLIM SYRIANS WHO SUFFERED UNDER ISIS NOW TURNING TO CHRISTIANITY

Image: Church of the Brethren in Kobane, Syria

Syrians gather outside the Church of the Brethren in Kobani, Syria.NBC News

In 2015, Kobani was the centre in the battle against ISIS.  It was also there that US-led forces beat back ISIS terrorists and liberated the city before finally ending the group’s hold over Iraq and Syria.  Many of the new converts to Christ say the violence ISIS brought to their region left them disillusioned with Islam.  Many Muslims became agnostic or atheist, others turned to Jesus and opened up Kobani’s first church in decades called “Church of the Brethren.”  It is the only evangelical church in Kobani.  “After the war with ISIS people were looking for the right path, and distancing themselves from Islam,”  church founder Omar Firas said. “People were scared and felt lost.”

Firas said approximately 80 to 100 people in Kobani now worship at the evangelical church. “We meet on Tuesdays and hold a service on Fridays.  It is open to anyone who wants to join,” he said.  Firas founded the church while a new representative form of government in northeast Syria called the “Self Administration of Syria” (SANES) was emerging.  The SANES controls a third of Syria between the Tigris and Euphrates River and guarantees freedom of religion to all of the 4 million people within its borders.  Firas told CBN News his church would never have been allowed under ISIS. “We can express our rituals with complete freedom,” he said.

 

PROPHESIED END TIMES GENOCIDE OF CHRISTIANS

Christian persecution ‘at near genocide levels,’ was the title of a May 3rd BBC report citing a lengthy interim study ordered by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and led by Rev. Philip Mounstephen, the Bishop of Truro.

According to the BBC report, one in three people around the world suffer from religious persecution, with Christians being “the most persecuted religious group.”

“Christianity‘is at risk of disappearing’ in some parts of the world,” it noted, and “In some regions, the level and nature of persecution is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN.”

The BBC report highlights “political correctness” as being especially responsible for the West’s indifference. However, the truth is, Jesus said in the “last days”, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by the nations for My name’s sake.” Matthew 24:9. Satan knows his end is near, so it is all out spiritual warfare against Christians and Jews.

Jesus principal warning for the “end of the age” was “Take heed that no one deceives you” Matthew 24:4. Deception will be rife with many false prophets and teachers. Is this not what we are seeing in our day?

Although the BBC report has an entire heading titled and devoted to the impact of “political correctness,” ironically, it too succumbs to this contemporary Western malady. For while it did a fair job in highlighting the problem, it said nothing about its causes — not one word about who is persecuting Christians, or why.

The overwhelming majority of Christian persecution, however, occurs in Muslim majority nations. According to Open Doors’ World Watch List 2019 [WWL], which surveys the 50 nations where Christians are most persecuted, “Islamic oppression continues to impact millions of Christians.”

In seven of the absolute worst 10 nations, “Islamic oppression” is the cause of persecution. For millions of Christians—particularly those who grew up Muslim or were born into Muslim families—openly following Jesus can have painful consequences,” including death.

Among the worst persecutors are those that rule according to Islamic law, or Sharia — which academics such as Georgetown University’s John Esposito insist is equitable and just. Once again, Scripture tells us that in the last days they will call evil good and good evil.

As I have suggested in previous posts, the Final Empire of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2 is a revived but divided fourth Empire (Ottoman Empire) – an Islamic Caliphate which the Antichrist will rule, partially overcoming the Sunni/Shia divide. Also, confirmation is given to Daniel with the terrifying Beast of Daniel 7 with teeth of iron and claws of bronze that devoured everything. Out of the beast grow ten horns – is a revived Islamic Caliphate.

‘Christianity is not permitted to exist’

In Afghanistan (ranked #2) , “Christianity is not permitted to exist,” says the WWL 2019, because it “is an Islamic state by constitution, which means government officials, ethnic group leaders, religious officials and citizens are hostile toward” Christians.

Similarly, in Somalia, (#3), “The Christian community is small and under constant threat of attack. Sharia law and Islam are enshrined in the country’s constitution, and the persecution of Christians almost always involves violence.”

In Iran (#9), “society is governed by Islamic law, which means the rights and professional possibilities for Christians are heavily restricted.”

Equally telling is that 38 of the 50 nations making the WWL 2019 are Muslim majority.

Here are a few of the more significant quotes from the Bishop of Truro’s report:

– “The persecution of Christians is perhaps at its most virulent in the region of the birthplace of Christianity—the Middle East & North Africa.”

“In countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia the situation of Christians and other minorities has reached an alarming stage.”

– “The eradication of Christians and other minorities on pain of ‘the sword’ or other violent means was revealed to be the specific and stated objective of [Islamic] extremist groups in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, north-east Nigeria and the Philippines.”

– “There is mass violence which regularly expresses itself through the bombing of churches, as has been the case in countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, and Indonesia.”

– “The single-greatest threat to Christians [in Nigeria] … came from Islamist militant group Boko Haram, with US intelligence reports in 2015 suggesting that 200,000 Christians were at risk of being killed… Those worst affected included Christian women and girls ‘abducted, and forced to convert, enter forced marriages, sexual abuse and torture.’”

“An intent to erase all evidence of the Christian presence [in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, north-east Nigeria and the Philippines] was made plain by the removal of crosses, the destruction of Church buildings and other Church symbols. The killing and abduction of clergy represented a direct attack on the Church’s structure and leadership.”

– “Christianity now faces the possibility of being wiped-out in parts of the Middle East where its roots go back furthest. In Palestine, Christian numbers are below 1.5 percent; in Syria the Christian population has declined from 1.7 million in 2011 to below 450,000 and in Iraq, Christian numbers have slumped from 1.5 million before 2003 to below 120,000 today. Christianity is at risk of disappearing, representing a massive setback for plurality in the region.”

Fortunately, the BBC has stopped trying to minimise the spectre of Christian persecution as it did in 2013, when this situation was just starting to reach the boiling point.