Recently, The Pew Research Center conducted surveys among 24,599 adults (ages 18 and older) across 15 countries in Western Europe to assess the spiritual state of the region. Their report, “Being Christian in Western Europe” makes sobering reading. It seems like we live on a continent where God is unnecessary. For example, they found that across the 15 countries only a median of 11 percent of the population prays once a day (compared to 55 percent in the U.S.) and a median of 40 percent say they never pray (rising to 62 percent in Sweden and Denmark)! Only a median of 11 percent said religion was very important in their lives, only a median of 15 percent believe in God with absolute certainty, and only a median of 22 percent attend church at least once a month. Belief in God is met with skepticism and incredulity by a majority of the population.
We observed this happening on the BBC Radio 4 “Today” program when a prominent British scientist expressed some credence in the possibility of God’s existence. He had been in outer space and seen the earth from that perspective, and been so impressed by its beauty and design that he had had to admit that there might be a Creator who had brought this into existence. When the interviewer pressed him on how he could hold such a notion and still have credibility as a scientist, he quickly added that he was still agnostic and waiting for science to discover the origin of the universe and possibly prove, or otherwise, the existence of God.
“Despite this dark backcloth, it is encouraging to see advances being made for the kingdom of God.”
Despite this dark backcloth, it is encouraging to see advances being made for the kingdom of God. Antonio, with the backing of the La Victoria church, is pressing ahead with the Farm School Project that is designed to link public school students with Springs of Life Camp. He plans to visit about 70 schools in the area of the camp to encourage them to bring groups of students for a day out at the Farm School at the camp. A lady, called Montse, who was active in the church’s choir, although not a believer, has recently come to faith. She now regularly attends church and the mid-week prayer meeting and has brought her husband along to church as well. He’s also showing openness to the gospel. Montse plans to be baptized in a beach service along with four young people from church families. Last Sunday, a young couple recently arrived from Paraguay to join their family here in Spain and made a public commitment to Christ.
Praise God for the work he is doing in Spain! Pray that Phil and Maretta would continue to see God’s light piercing through the darkness.