Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Case for Europe

We attended my brother's church in Atlanta this morning and during the service, we heard from longtime missionaries to France. They shared briefly about the needs in Western Europe and the challenging field of France in particular. It reminded me, once again, why we are headed to Austria.

A research periodical we recently came across describes Europe like this...

"A high degree of nominalism, increasing secularization and growing influece of liberal theology, and disillusionment and cynicism following two world wars led to massive decline in church attendance. Increasing pluralism (as a result of immigration and experimentation with new religious ideas), growth of Islam at a time when the Church was discouraged and divided, and rejection of absolutes in a society under the banner of "tolerance" resulted in the marginalization of Christianity. By 2050, Christians will make up less than 50% of the population, with most being nominal in their adherence."

Wow. There is a lot in that paragraph, but what stands out to me are words like "nominalism", "tolerance", "cynicism" and "decline". While the Evangelical church is growing rapidly in other parts of the world (like Africa and Asia), it is on the decline in Europe. Missiologists are increasingly describing Europe as "post-Christian", as if it has moved beyond the need for faith.

If you are considering heading to the mission field, I hope you will consider Europe. And if you are considering being involved in missions through short term teams, financial support and prayer, please consider Europe. The continent and it's missionaries are in desperate need of your support.

To close out my thoughts, here are some visual aids to support the case for Europe.

Some of the Countries with the Smallest Population of Evangelical Believers:

The Decline of Christianity and Rise of Islam & Non-Religious Populations in Europe

 The Top 20 Evangelical Countries in the World (Major Decline in Europe)

The Evangelical Population in Europe (year: 2000)
 (Austria - 0.5%)

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