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Is the American church dying? Rising persecution meets falling numbers of youth

Christian Newswire – The American Church, which once ruled the spiritual landscape of the United States, is struggling amidst rising persecution and shrinking numbers of youth. According to a study by Liberty Institute and the Family Research Council, U.S. Christians are facing unprecedented amounts of persecution and hostility. The recent attack on the FRC by a gunman in Washington D.C. is the latest in a string of incidents that include a Christian woman from Phoenix, Arizona being prohibited from passing out free water bottles and sharing her faith. Dr. James Emory White, theology professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological seminary, said “2012 may very well be the year of persecution against Christians.” In addition, an unsettlingly high number of Christian youth walk away from the church once they reach college age. The numbers vary among denominations, but on average it’s about 70%-80%, which means that the future church is in danger of shrinking away.

There is a divide within the Christian community concerning these reports. Some dismiss them, while others fight to make a change. Christian fiction author Grant Carroll believes some people need a story to grab their attention. His novel, The Glimpse, is based upon a dream his wife had about the fate of the American Church. “The similarities between current events and her dream are uncanny. I knew it had to become a story, because stories impact us and make us think outside of our own experience. The only way Christians will pay attention to the warning signs of youth leaving and persecution rising is if they catch a glimpse of the Church’s fate if these trends continue.” Carroll also believes there is a deeper cause. “Apathy. Christian youth are not being raised by their parents and the Church. They’re being raised by the media, their peers and the public school system, and nobody seems to be bothered by it.”

About Grant Carroll
Grant Carroll is a freelance writer, playwright, published poet and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. He is the editor and co-founder of Child Refuge (www.childrefuge.org), a non-profit ministry with the goal of fighting for the children and young adults in the American church. His prayer is for his life and writing to impact the world for Christ.

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