It is almost an unspoken phenomenon in church life.
Three decades ago, over nine of ten churches with a congregational government had a monthly business meeting. Several non-congregational churches had monthly business meetings as well.
Today, less than one-third of American Protestant churches have these monthly meetings. That is an incredible decline hardly noted by many pundits. more >>
One of the world's leading Bible translation organizations announced this week that it is ending its affiliation with the Wycliffe Global Alliance, citing its opposition to the fact that other alliance-affiliated translation groups do not include familial terms to refer to the relationship between God and Christ.
Wycliffe Associates, an Orlando-based international organization formed in 1967 that had over 6,279 staff and volunteers translating the Gospel in 75 different countries in 2015, announced in a statement Tuesday that it will not renew its affiliation with the Wycliffe Global Alliance, a network of Bible translation organizations formed in 1991.
The press release explains that the decision was made by Wycliffe Associates' board of trustees last Friday. more >>
Pastor Kong Hee of Singapore's City Harvest Church has continued his tour around Southeast Asia, focusing this week on Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation in the world, which he called a "big harvest field" for Christianity.
Kong also spoke about the importance of implementing church "cell groups," which he argued allow even the world's biggest megachurches to effectively care for all of its members.
"What a big harvest field Indonesia is. The number of Christians has grown from 1.3 million to 24 million in the past 40 years, making up approximately 10 percent of the country's population," Kong wrote on Facebook. more >>
Throughout the ages, the Gospel has traversed borders and overcome language and cultural barriers to prick the hearts of mankind. The last 2,000 years of the spread of Christianity have been illustrated in an animated map that charts the Great Commission in the span of 90 seconds.
"The Spread of the Gospel," created by Western Conservatory of the Arts and Sciences, demonstrates how Christianity once extended far and wide from its cradle in the Middle East, experienced a brief period where it lost ground around the 820s AD, and rebounded a little over 100 years later. The map shows the proliferation of Christianity with the added context of the spread of the Roman and Byzantine empires.
Along with Christianity, the rise of Islam, the world's second-largest religion after Christianity, is also depicted — the two faiths overlapping in places like the Arabian Peninsula, in portions of northern Africa, and in parts of Spain and Portugal by the early 700s AD, according to the map. more >>
Hundreds of thousands of Christians are worshiping secretly in a rapidly accelerating house church movement in Iran, as a London-based theological center is aiding the movement by training the next generation of its spiritual leaders.
The Iranian government labels Christianity as a threat to the nation's Islamic identity and imprisons over 100 Christians for worshiping Christ. Such crackdowns on faith, however, have not prevented Iranian house churches from blossoming into a movement too big for the Iranian religious police to contain.
Some estimates, such as one provided by Open Doors USA, record as many as 450,000 practicing Christians in Iran, while other, more optimistic estimates, record over 1 million Christians in the Islamic republic. more >>
The persecution of Chinese Christians at the hands of the ruling Communist Party continues to be documented by a number of human rights groups who noted that entire churches are being demolished in Zhejiang Province, considered the heartland of Chinese Christianity.
Human Rights Watch released its 2016 report of human rights abuses being committed around the world, and noted that China is facing several problems, documenting the arrests of various human rights defenders, including those who have stood up for freedom of religion.
HRW pointed out in its report that government authorities led a campaign in 2015 demolishing church crosses and even entire churches. more >>