A hundred years ago many Christians envisioned Christianity winning acceptance among every country and people of the world. As it turned out, this century has seen a drastic erosion of Christianity in the very centers from which it launched its missionary activity—namely, in Europe and North America. That erosion has been hastened by—among other things—two world wars and the unleashing of the atomic bomb.
Since mid-century, some Christians have foreseen not global conversion but global destruction, hastened perhaps by a nuclear catastrophe. Many of the scenarios of the end predict a rescue or rapture of Christians out of suffering, in anticipation of Christ's millennial reign.