In This Issue: What eight out of ten people have in common
- REPORT: Global Religious Landscape
- VIDEOS: Recordings from Urbana
- DEVOTIONAL: One with the Persecuted Church
- BOOK: Yielded Captive
- EVENTS: Missions Catalyst Calendar
Missions Catalyst is a free, weekly electronic digest of mission news and resources designed to inspire and equip Christians worldwide for global ministry. Use it to fuel your prayers, find tips and opportunities, and stay in touch with how God is building his kingdom all over the world. Please forward it freely!
REPORT: Global Religious Landscape
Source: Pew Forum
Need statistics on world religions? In December 2012, the Pew Forum released The Global Religious Landscape, a comprehensive country-by-country analysis of eight major faith groups based on data from more than 2,500 censuses, surveys, and population registries.
The study finds that as of 2010, eight out of ten people identified with a religious group, including 2.2 billion Christians (32 percent of the world’s population), 1.6 billion Muslims (23 percent), 1 billion Hindus (15 percent), nearly 500 million Buddhists (7 percent), and 14 million Jews (0.2 percent).
The study also finds that roughly one of every six people around the globe (1.1 billion, or 16 percent) have no religious affiliation, making the unaffiliated the third-largest religious group worldwide, behind Christians and Muslims. Many of the unaffiliated hold some religious or spiritual beliefs even though they do not identify with a particular faith.
Charts, maps, and more will help you understand and communicate about these topics.
VIDEOS: Recordings from Urbana
Didn’t make it to the Urbana 2012 conference but heard good things about it? View or download video recordings from plenary sessions, including a powerful address from David Platt and another from Ram Sridharan.
You can also listen to audio recordings from featured seminars on topics like cultural assumptions, spiritual warfare and missions, and what it takes to transform a city.
» If you prefer to read, take in some of the inspiring volumes that were selling briskly at Urbana: maybe David Platt’s Radical, Steve Addison’s What Jesus Started, or Margot Starbuck’s Small Things with Great Love.
DEVOTIONAL: One with The Persecuted Church
Source: Open Doors USA
Our friends at Open Doors have done a beautiful job with a new daily devotional being distributed by email each day during 2013. It’s part of the One with Them campaign and designed to help us stand with persecuted Christians. Readings tell the stories of brothers and sisters in the persecuted church and share lessons to be learned from them. The results are not overwhelming or guilt-inducing, just inspiring.
Materials are not posted online. Access requires a subscription. Free. No donation required or requested.
BOOK: Yielded Captive, a Novel
Source: BottomLine Media, an imprint of Pioneers
Yielded Captive, by Dalaina May. Orlando, FL: BottomLine Media, 2013. 368 pages.
Allison Carter dedicated her life to being a missionary in the jungles of Peru. She and her team had made little contact with the isolated tribe they hoped to reach when they are attacked without warning. Allison’s husband is shot, while she and her son are taken captive by members of the very tribe they had hoped to reach. Allison’s struggle against her abusive captors plays out against the backdrop of a struggle with God himself. How can he allow her to suffer so? Can he be trusted with her future?
The author of this hard-hitting novel is part of a church-planting team in a Peru. In an interview she explains,
“I think it is easy for believers to just sugarcoat what living for God looks like. When the unspeakable happens, we have the choice to either walk away from our faith, ignore the fact that our beliefs and reality are in opposition, or re-examine our theology. Just as writing Yielded Captive made me take another look at what Scripture says about God and the Christian life, I hope that my readers are left with a more accurate view of who God is and that they stand in awe at the complexity and intricacy of his nature. Ultimately, I hope they walk away with the understanding that though God’s ways are impossible to predict or understand, he is always, always, always good.”
» Learn more or get a copy from Amazon (or elsewhere) for US$14.81; $5.99 for the Kindle edition.
EVENTS: Missions Catalyst Calendar
Source: Missions Catalyst Calendar
Items from our calendar for February 2013:
February 1-3 – Missionfest Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB, Canada). Free, community-based mission festival for all ages.
February 2 – Bridges Seminar (two events: Toronto, ON, Canada; and Houston, TX, USA). Building bridges to reach Muslims. Provided by Crescent Project.
February 8-9 – Mission Tax and Finance Conference (Dallas, TX, USA). Sponsored by Missio Nexus.
February 9 – Bridges Seminar in Spanish (San Diego, CA, USA). Building bridges to reach Muslims (for Spanish speakers). Provided by Crescent Project.
February 13 to March 24 – Seek God for the City (global). Forty-day prayer campaign. Materials available from WayMakers.
February 14 – Business as Mission: Five Reasons Why It Is an Important Strategy in the 21st Century (online). Webinar provided by Missio Nexus, this one hosted by Larry Sharp of Crossworld.
February 15-18 – World Christian Conference (Boulder Creek, CA, USA). An annual West-coast event sponsored by The World Christian Fellowship – mobilizing Asian-American Christians (and those who identify with them) to disciple all nations.
February 18-21 – Women of Compassion retreat (Lisbon, Portugal). Encouragement for North American women serving cross-culturally.
February 20-22 – International Turkey Network Conference (Mesa, AZ, USA). Theme: Turkey and the Middle East.
February 20-24 – Tentmaking Business as Mission Course (Canberra, Australia). Use your profession or business skills to reach cross culturally. Provided by Global Opportunities.
February 21 – Young Evangelicals and Financial Giving: Is There Hope for the Future of Missions? (online). Webinar provided by Missio Nexus, this one hosted by Lynn Cooper of Wheaton College.
February 22-23 - The Justice Conference (Philadelphia, PA, USA). Annual event to promote dialogue around justice-related issues such as human trafficking, slavery, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and human rights.
February 22-24 – Missions Fest Alberta (Edmonton, AB, Canada). Free, community-based mission festival for all ages.
February 28 – Unengaged Peoples (online). Webinar provided by Missio Nexus, this one hosted by Mike Latsko.
Marti Wade is a writer, speaker, and project manager for the Church Partnerships Team at Pioneers. As a mission mobilizer, she has also trained and sent out many short-term teams to do relationship-based research to serve among the world’s least-reached peoples.
Marti has managed and published Missions Catalyst since 2004 and is the author of Through Her Eyes, a book about the lives of women serving cross-culturally in the Muslim world. She and her husband Chris live in Oregon.