The United States and Canada are among today’s Protestant strongholds. They have become the chief manpower source of the world missionary movement. Today more than 26,000 evangelical and Protestant missionaries are supported around the world by American and Canadian Christians, compared with 12,597 from Europe, 847 from Australia-New Zealand, and 104 from the “younger churches.”
Although Protestantism has kept surprising pace with Roman Catholicism in North America, population growth in North America is not nearly as rapid as elsewhere in the world. By 2000 A.D. the U.S. and Canada may form only 4.7% of the world population. Today roughly one-third of the world is Christian (of all branches). By the end of the century, due to their slower growth, the Christian one-third is expected to drop to one-fifth.
Foreign missionary statistics in North America, as in Western Europe, reflect the fact that these lands are primarily sending areas. A Canadian missionary working in the United States would not be considered a foreign missionary; if in Mexico, he would be so considered here. Dr. Frank M. Price of the Missionary Research Library defines a “foreign” missionary as one who has left culture and people to labor in a new and strange environment. Hence this survey includes Mexico with Latin America rather than with North America. Western European and North American missionary statistics inevitably list only those sent out, rather than those received from other lands. When the Christian Church around the world fully realizes its missionary task, this situation is expected to change.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
(Seventh-Day Adventists and Assemblies of God missionary statistics are not included under NCC totals, although the latter lists them as “associated boards.”)
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