For 2000 years, since Jesus commanded his disciples to go spread the good news to all nations, Christian messengers, or missionaries, have traveled throughout the world spreading the message of hope and redemption. There are few people on the Earth who have not heard this message. Messengers have translated the Bible into a hundreds of languages—and more translations keep coming. Especially in the past 500 years, Europeans, in the wake of aggressive imperialism, increased their efforts to spread the message to North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Often missionary work has been an apology for conquest, slaughter, and enslavement. In the late 1800s, European competition for world power led to horrifying imperialistic actions in Africa. For example, beginning in the 1880s, King Leopold II of Belgium brutally expanded Belgic power into the Congo in the name of civilization and Christianity.
Indeed, for centuries Christian apologists have claimed that unless a people adopt European customs, values, dress, and language, they cannot be properly converted to Christianity, hence receive salvation.
At the same time, the European heritage has become increasingly materialistic, hedonistic, and narcissistic, such that the expanding noise of modern technology and communications seems to be drowning out the message of Christ.
Is the message still worth listening to?
Yes, if the message is in its purist form.
The purity of the message is found in the Gospel, first and foremost, in the teachings and actions of the Son of Man. Here we read firsthand, albeit through translation, the words of Jesus of Nazareth rather than the many commentators and expostulators who often distort the message for their own purposes.
And so, for people throughout the world who have routinely been dispossessed of property, human rights, liberty, and life, we hear words that bring peace to our anguished souls. For its true that in reading the Gospel,
You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free.
Read about the life of a person who made the message relevant to people living in the 18th century: Apostle of the East: The Life and Journeys of Daniel Little.