The Mission Field of the Western World

By David Ochabski

Key Points

1.) Christianity is in decline in the global West and growing in the global South. 

2.)  The more economically stable a country is, the less religious it is. 

3.) Given the economic advances of the global West, it has naturally become less religious. 

4.) A strategic mission field for the global West is the university, where intelligentsia are born. 

5.P) Apologetics is the key to evangelizing the university and reaching the next generations.

LYNCHBURG, VA—On May 20th, 2015, Wes Granberg-Michaelson opened his article in Washington Post with an incredible statement. He said, “While Christianity may be on the decline in the United States, the world is becoming more religious, not less.”1 While North America and Europe are experiencing a decline in Christianity, it is on the rise in Latin America and Africa. For example, nearly 92% of South America is Christian compared with 76% of people in the U.S. (down from 80% in 2008). 2, 3, 4 Even among those who self-identify as Christian in the U.S., only 40% actually attend worship services.5 The new mission field is the global West, not the global South.

But Why Is This?

To put it simply: the more affluent a country is, the less religious it is likely to be. “…Religious belief declines as existential security increases,” as one study puts it.6 If you have a low income and are less educated (and therefore feel less in control), you are more likely to be religious.7 As the saying goes, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Instead, they are dining at five-star restaurants.

Now let’s apply this to the West. Amidst the Industrial Revolution was the separation of Western Europe and North America from the rest of the world…


The Mission Field of the Western World | Ratio Christi