Colson Center Says More in Europe are Interested in Christianity
by: Stafford North | February 6, 2018
We don’t usually do stories like this in Good News but since many churches of Christ are interested in mission work in Europe, I thought it might be of interest to pass this information along.
The Colson Center for Christian Worldview sent out a newsletter in May, 2017, with an article titled “A New Rain (Reign?) of Faith in Europe. Written by Eric Metaxas, the article says “It’s become customary to refer to Europe as ‘post-Christian.’ But this is an overstatement—and it obscures large differences in religious practices across the continent.” Metaxas continues, Poles, for instance, “are far more likely to attend church on a weekly basis than Scandinavians—and even more likely than Americans. Still it’s difficult to dispute the idea that Christianity’s influence in Europe , on both a personal and societal level, is in decline.”
Two recent stories, however, suggest that this may be changing. A headline in the United Kingdom’s Telegraph newspaper read, “Our politicians are more devout than ever—so it’s time we started taking their faith seriously.” In the story, Nick Spencer, whose recent book is entitled The Mighty and the Almighty: how Political Leaders Do God, “notes that rather than European politics becoming a ‘God-free zone,’ one of the ‘most striking trends of the last generation or so is how many Christian politicians have risen to the top of the political tree.”
He notes that three of England’s recent prime ministers could be described as “devout:” Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, and now Theresa May. Christianity Today recently told its readers that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christianity is “deep,” “genuine,” and “important to her life.”
In Paris and also in Lyon, the second largest city in France, most of the Catholic Churches have overflow crowds for Sunday Mass. And a movement that wanted to protest against legalizing same-sex marriage drew more than 200,000 in Paris.
A factor in the interest in Christianity is opposition to liberalism. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, for example, writes that “Liberalism, in this view, is responsible for sexual depravity and the culture of death,” and “leads to abortions and to quasi-slaves in third world factories making disposable consumer items of questionable worth.”
So, as we think about missions in Europe, these are factors to weigh.