Muslims in America: A Missions Statistic for You

GC studyOne out of five non-Christians in North America does not know a Christian. In June Gordon-Conwell’s Center for Global Christianity published a study called “Christianity in Its Global Context, 1970-2020,” in which it was revealed that twenty percent of non-Christians in North America do not personally know a Christian. “Given the religious diversity of Northern America, it is surprising that only 80 percent of all religionists personally knew a Christian in 2010,” the study says. And beyond North America, worldwide the figure is much higher: more than 8 in 10 non-Christians do not personally know a Christian.

The Christian share of the population of the United States hovers around eighty percent. To think that one out of five non-Christians does not personally know one part of that eighty percent is kind of staggering.

This week Christianity Today explored the implications of this statistic, and missiologist Todd M. Johnson made some insightful remarks:

Migrants move into enclaves and don’t venture out. But even Christians who live close to Chinatowns and Little Italys don’t often venture in, Johnson said.

Separation between religious groups isn’t limited to the United States and Canada. But North America has a unique opportunity to connect across religious lines, he said.

“The United States is a very strategic place for people to interact,” he said. “It’s ironic in a place with all the freedoms to interact that people don’t do it. In light of the deficit of contact, what better thing could happen than to have a bunch of people move into your neighborhood and build houses of worship?”

The Church must be mobilized to the unreached and the unengaged here in North America and around the world. There will never be enough missionaries to do the work. Christians must move beyond their Christian circles to engage with non-Christians and build personal relationships with them. The immigration of Muslims to North America and Europe should not be viewed as a challenge, but as an opportunity, a great opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who have never heard it.

The full report “Christianity in Its Global Context” from the Center of Global Christianity can be found here, and the story from Christianity Today can be found here.

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