Secularization and the Church in Europe

Airing on
Probe Radio

May 31-
June 4

Rick Wade — At the end of a talk about the state of the evangelical mind in America, the subject turned to Europe, and a man said with great confidence, ďThe churches in Europe are all empty!Ē Iíve heard that said before. It makes for a good missions sermon; however, it doesnít quite do justice to the situation. Not all the churches in Europe are empty! The situation isnít like in Dallas, Texas, where churches dot the landscape, but there are thriving churches across the continent.

That said, however, there is more than just a grain of truth in the claim. Church attendance in Europe is down. Traditional Christian beliefs are less widely held.

Itís important to know what the situation is in Europe for a few reasons.

First, we have a tendency to write Europe off in a way we donít other parts of the world. The church is struggling there, but it isnít a lost cause by any means! Maybe we can even learn from the thinking and lifeís experience of believers across the Atlantic.

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"My interest in this subject grew out of the question, is America is becoming more like Europe in its secularization? What I learned was that one cannot make a simple one-to-one comparison between America and Europe for a number of different reasons. This article provides a brief description of the character of religious belief (primarily Christian) in Europe."

Rick is a Research Associate and Publications Manager for Probe. He has a B.A. in communications from Moody Bible Institute, an M.A. in Christian Thought from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Master of Humanities from the University of Dallas. Rick's interests focus on apologetics, Christianity and culture, and the changing currents in Western thought.

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