Crime wave

Ecclesiastical theft
I wait each year for the January issue of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research with its “Table C. Status of global mission, presence, and activities, AD 1800-2025.” Each year my eye falls on Table C’s saddest line, Line 62: “Ecclesiastical crime, $.” Before me is Vol. 32, No. 1, January 2008.

The researchers helpfully provide context from the past before leaping toward the future. Get ready for statistics, and do not let your eyes glaze over, since these are startling. Ecclesiastical crime in 1800 amounted to $100,000; in 1900, $300,000; in 1970, $5,000,000; in mid-2000, $16,000,000,000; and at midnight of July 1, 2008, it will rise to $25,000,000,000. (I can’t actually prove that it will be midnight, but I arrive at that hour of that day because the category is “mid-2008.”) Now, hold on to your hats or crystal balls or trend charts: here is what the IBMR projects for 2025: $65,000,000,000!


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