Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Study: Christian Population Shifts From Europe
- Boosting Bible Distribution at Key Time in Middle East
- Christian Activist Killed in India
- Number of Married Adults at All-Time Low
Study: Christian Population Shifts From Europe
A new study by the Pew Research Center shows that during the last century, the Christian population has shifted dramatically away from Europe to Africa, Asia and the Americas, the Associated Press reports. About one-fourth of the world's Christians live in Europe today, compared to two-thirds 100 years ago. About one-fourth of the worlds Christians can now be found in sub-Saharan Africa, while 37 percent live in the Americas and 13 percent live in Asia. Christians remain the largest religious group in the world, with nearly 2.2 billion; Muslims comprise the second-largest group with about 1.6 billion -- just less than one-fourth of the global population. All but 10 percent of the world's Christians live in countries where they are they are the religious majority.
Boosting Bible Distribution at Key Time in Middle East
Bible resource provider Biblica is leading the way in the production of Bibles and Bible recordings in Arabic amid times of change and tension in the Middle East, Mission Network News reports. Biblica has a printed translation of the Bible in Arabic, as well as an audio New Testament, and current work is being done to record the Arabic Old Testament. According to The Joshua Project, 71 percent of the Middle Eastern population is still completely unreached with the Gospel, but Biblica is working to change that. "[Placing] Bibles in the Middle East is one of our top areas," said Doug Lockhart of Biblica. Volunteers on the ground are working to actively distribute copies of the Bible, and Biblica hopes to place hundreds of thousands more into the hands of Arabic speakers during the next year.
Christian Activist Killed in India
A prominent evangelical activist, Rabindra Kumar Parichha, was killed by suspected Hindu hardliners in the volatile state of Orissa, India, International Christian Concern reports. Parichha was found with his throat cut and there were signs he had been shot in the stomach, according to Christians who found him. It was not immediately clear who was behind the killing, but a local missionary said the killing came amid threats by Hindu extremists. Parichha was one of the leading advocates on behalf of Christians in Orissa; he is the third Christian leader to be murdered there this year.
Number of Married Adults at All-Time Low
A new report by the Pew Research Center says only 51 percent of adults in the United States are currently married, LifeSiteNews.com reports. Compared to 1960, when 72 percent of all adults ages 18 and older were married, this represents a new low for the U.S. and is representative of most other "advanced post-industrial societies." If current trends continue, "the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years," said D'Vera Cohn, senior writer of the study. "Other adult living arrangements -- including cohabitation, single-person households and single parenthood -- have all grown more prevalent in recent decades." In addition, the report reveals that the number of adults who have never married has almost doubled, from 15 percent in 1960 to 28 percent today. The median age at first marriage has also risen from 20.3 to 26.5 for women and 22.8 to 28.7 for men.
Publication date: December 27, 2011