• Prince Nwankudu

ALASKA—THE MISSION FIELD YOU NEVER KNEW EXISTED IN THE USA.

A PASSIONATE CALL TO PASTORS, CHURCHES, MINISTRIES AND ALL CHRISTIANS IN OTHER PARTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


By: Prince Nwankudu

Revive Alaska Outreach | www.revivealaska.org | 907-717-9080

ALASKA—THE MISSION FIELD YOU NEVER KNEW EXISTED IN THE USA.

In most cases, when we hear of missions or missionaries, we automatically think of Africa, Asia or some other remote places outside the USA. It is unimaginable that there is a city here in the USA where about 70% are atheists and only about 25% of the population claim Christianity as their religion. Out of this: 8.9% are Catholic; 4.9% are LDS; 4.0% are Baptist; 2.2% are Pentecostal; 1.8% are Lutheran; 1.7% are Methodist; 0.7% are Presbyterian; and 0.6% are Episcopalian.[1]


A 2008 Pew Research survey found Alaskans less religious than other Americans.[2] Anchorage, Alaska with about 70% of the population unaffiliated to any religion, supersedes the topmost least religious cities in the 48 contiguous states of the USA. According to a 2017 survey from the Public Religion Research Institute, the national average of non-religious (unaffiliated) persons is 25.3% of the US population. San Francisco, California, which is regarded as the atheist capital, only has 43% of its population claiming to be unaffiliated to any religion.


The report lists the top 5 least religious cities in the lower 48 states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) along with the percentage of unaffiliated residents in each one as follows: San Francisco, California: 43%; Seattle, Washington: 40%; Portland, Oregon: 36%; Denver, Colorado: 34%; Boston, Massachusetts: 34%; Las Vegas, Nevada: 33%; Indianapolis, Indiana: 32%; and Los Angeles, California: 30%.[3]


Although the population of the city of Anchorage and the state of Alaska is very small relative to other cities and states in the USA, the fact that about 7 out of 10 people you will meet in the city of Anchorage, Alaska, are on their way to hell is very disheartening. In his book God is Alive and Well: The Future of Religion in America, Frank Newport notes that “about two out of three residents of Alaska, moved to Alaska specifically to get away from normality, conformity and the structures of (the) lower 48. Loners, eccentrics (misanthropes of all types chose Alaska specifically because it offered the promise of an out-of-the-way, isolated existence).”[4] These are people, who are inclined to be independent of any authority, particularly, God’s authority. They also teach their children to follow their example. Therefore, the urban culture is generally non-religious, materialistic and self-centered.


On the flip side, the native Alaskans are a religious people whose culture is intertwined with shamanism. Although some native Alaskans have become true Christians, many of them have only been exposed to the formality of Christian religion. Hence, they have ended up in religious syncretism (a mixture of cultural shamanism and Christianity). Consequently, many residents of Alaskan villages are still infested with demonic oppression resulting in the highest rates of suicide, incest, addiction, and domestic violence in the USA. For example, Alaska’s rape rate is 2.5 times the national average[5] and child sexual assault six times the national average.[6]


In a 2007 New York Times article, William Yardley noted that the suicide rate among native Alaskans was three times that of non-native Alaskan residents and five times the national average. He also observed that native Alaskans aged 10-19 years made up just 20% of the state population in that age group but accounted for 61% of its suicides.[7] Alaska also has the highest unemployment rate in the nation[8] at 7.3% against the U.S. average of 4.1%.[9]


Also, in a 2016 article that was published by The Guardian, Julia O’Malley asserts that “Alaska has some of the highest per capita rates of homelessness and alcoholism in America – and as the temperature drops, the number of homeless deaths rises.”[10] The tale of woes continues unabated. The spiritual darkness over the state of Alaska is unprecedented, but Christians all over the world, particularly in the USA, are in possession of the light that will, if jointly focused, become the beam that Alaska needs. The need to reach these Alaskan natives as well as non-natives beckons on the conscience of all compassionate American Christians.


COME OVER TO ALASKA AND HELP US

Christians in Alaska are outnumbered. Churches are fragmented, and ill-equipped. Missionary organizations and ministries are underfunded, isolated and overwhelmed. Nevertheless, we are persevering at the front-lines of this last frontier. We are laboring for the expansion of the kingdom in this spiritually treacherous terrain. Many of you reading this treatise would not dream of pastoring a church or relocating to a city in Alaska, not to mention living off the grid in one of the villages where the temperature is below -300F most of the year. God may not have called you to live and minister in Alaska’s peculiar environment physically, but you have a big responsibility to us, to God, and to all the lost souls in Alaska.


Your help, no matter how little, will go a long way in helping those of us who are called to this region to pull Alaska out of darkness. Our light is dim and stretched thin. Therefore, we need “all hands on deck,” to help us. Your light is needed to combine with ours, to break the thick darkness over Alaska.


“Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1-2).


You can shine your light and help us from where you are by GIVING and PRAYING. Better still, by COMING AND MOBILIZING others to come and help us. Like the Macedonians in Acts 16:9, we are crying out to those who live outside Alaska to please “come over to Alaska and help us!”


REVERSING THE SPIRITUAL LANDSCAPE OF ALASKA FROM 70% NON-RELIGIOUS TO 70% CHRISTIAN

A group of us in Alaska—pastors, churches, and ministries—have come together with the understanding that no single church or ministry can break the fallow ground of Alaska. Anchoring on God’s grace, and your support, we are committed to the reversal of the spiritual statistics of Alaska from 70% non-religious to 70% Christian. Under the auspices of God’s Family Missionary Movement Inc. (with a group 501(c)3 tax exempt status), Revive Alaska Outreach is the hub for all those who are aligned with the Holy Spirit for this commission. It is a multi-church partnership where believers in Jesus Christ rally together in one accord with singleness of purpose to pray, engage in concerted spiritual warfare, corporate strategic evangelism, and community services. Please respond to our call today.


CONNECT WITH US

For more information and ways to partner with us visit: www.revivealaska.org. You could also call 907-717-9080 or send email to revivealaska@gmail.com.

[1] https://www.bestplaces.net/religion/city/alaska/anchorage. Accessed July 24, 2018.


[2] Gregory Smith, Survey Finds Alaskans Less Religious Than Other Americans. (2008). http://www.pewforum.org/2008/09/04/survey-finds-alaskans-less-religious-than-other-americans/. Accessed June 8, 2018.


[3] http://ava.prri.org/#religious/2015/MetroAreas/religion/16. Accessed July 24, 2018.


[4] Frank Newport, God is Alive and Well: The Future of Religion in America, (New York: Gallup Press, 2012), 162.


[5] Carey Restino, “Why is Alaska the rape capital of the US? Because we allow it.” Anchorage Daily News, https://www.adn.com/commentary/article/why-alaska-rape-capital-us-because-we-allow-it/2013/04/08/. Accessed June 11, 2018.


[6] http://www.staralaska.com/statistics.html. Accessed June 11, 2018.


[7] William Yardley, One of the world’s highest suicide rates: Native Alaskan villages. (2017). https://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/14/world/americas/14iht-alaska.1.5699923.html. Accessed July 24, 2018.


[8] Annie Zak, Alaska has the highest unemployment rate in the U.S. (June 16, 2017). https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2017/06/16/alaska-has-the-highest-unemployment-rate-in-the-u-s/. Accessed July 24, 2018.


[9] The Associated Press, Alaska unemployment rate remains at 7.3 percent in March. (2018). https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/alaska-unemployment-rate-remains-at-7-3-percent-in-march/. Accessed July 24, 2018.


[10] Julia O'Malley, Homeless in Alaska: life and death on the freezing streets. (2016). https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/dec/24/alaska-homeless-deaths. Accessed July 24, 2018.

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