Monday, November 14, 2016

Are Evangelistic Crusades Effective? - Part 5

A Testimony to the Success of Mass Evangelism
            One of the greatest success stories I have heard about the power of mass evangelism is from the nation of Ethiopia. Over the past twenty-five years, the evangelical church has experienced rapid growth in Ethiopia. In 1992, when the Communist regime fell in Ethiopia, the nation was approximately 3% evangelical. In a recent census, almost 20% of Ethiopia is now evangelical. During the same time period, the population of Ethiopia increased from around forty-eight million people in 1990 to over one hundred million people in 2016.[1] More than nineteen million people have been born-again over the last two and a half decades in Ethiopia.[2] Much of this growth can be traced directly to crusade evangelism.
One organization that has contributed to this rapid church growth is The Joshua Campaign led by Swedish missionary, Karl Hargestam. Since 1994, his ministry has conducted over one hundred Gospel Festivals across the nation of Ethiopia. Many of their Gospel Festivals have attracted over 100,000 people in attendance. The goal of their ministry is to give “one chance for every person” in Ethiopia to hear the Gospel.
The Communist period in Ethiopia’s history is referred to as “The Dark.” Per Akvist, the Ethiopia director for The Joshua Campaign shares this story, “We were recently doing a great Gospel Festival in one city and I noticed an older pastor who was crying. He explained that under the Communists, over twenty of the young men in his church were shot in front of his eyes because he would not forsake Christ. He was crying because in the place where their blood soaked into the ground, now people are dancing and worshiping God.” Light has come into the darkness.



[1] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/et.html

[2] 3% of 48,000,000 = 1,440,000. 20% of 102,000,000 = 20,400,000.