Six evangelical Christian organizations are pooling their resources in an effort to identify every evangelical church in the world.
The Church in Habitat project, coordinated at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., is using a combination of new computer technology and traditional personal contact.
The six groups are combining their efforts to "find out where the churches are located, so we can find out where new churches need to be planted," said Ed Pruitt, project administrator and a divinity graduate student at Southeastern.
Last year, Pruitt visited 12 countries to get in touch with researchers who are compiling data on evangelical churches. During the next three years, he intends to make trips to about 120 countries.
The project already has information on more than 50,000 churches outside the United States, and "our goal is to have 80% of the world mapped in three years," he said.
The Churches in Habitat maps can be accessed through the Web site of Southeastern Seminary's Center for Great Commission Studies at http://www.greatcomm.org.