Ten Nations Making No Progress in Reducing Child Deaths Are 84% Christian
October 11, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill.,(christiansunite.com) -- In the Matthew 25:31-46 parable of the sheep and goats, Jesus said that to help the "least" was to help Jesus.
A new report from empty tomb suggests that many of "the least" can be found in the 16 nations not making progress in reducing the number of deaths among children under the age of five. Ten of these countries have a weighted average of 84% Christian population.
"The State of Church Giving through 2009" also analyzes church member giving in the U.S. through 2009.
The study found that per member giving was down from 2008 to 2009 in current dollars. The current-dollar decline in 2009 was only the second in the 1968-2009 period, the first being in 2008.
The authors state that giving may have been impacted by the recession. However, the decrease may also reflect a long-term decline in giving as a percent of income to churches. Between 1968 and 2009, for example, per member giving as a portion of income declined in both evangelical and mainline churches.
During this same period, churches in the U.S. have been spending more internally and less on the larger mission of the church. Per member giving to Benevolences as a percent of income reached its lowest point in 2009, the book reports.
Meanwhile, children under five are dying from preventable causes, including in countries where a majority of the populations are Christian. Churches have not yet mobilized giving campaigns to address this need at-scale.
The book also observes that America is still a highly religious nation. For example, an empty tomb analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey 2009 found that Americans gave 74% of their donations to "church, religious organizations."
The study proposes there is potential for church leaders to engage Christians in a larger vision. The authors suggest that helping, in Jesus' name, prevent child deaths may be a vision that attracts increased giving from church members. "The very revitalization of the church in the U.S. might depend on embracing Jesus by embracing the least," the study concludes.
The new report, authored by John and Sylvia Ronsvalle and published by empty tomb, inc., is scheduled to be released on Friday, October 14, 2011. "The State of Church Giving through 2009: Jesus Christ, the Church in the U.S., & the 16 No-Progress-in-Child Deaths Nations, 10 Being 84% Christian" is available from Internet booksellers or www.emptytomb.org/pubs.html