The Luis Palau Association (LPA) has announced it will begin a two to three year expedition of Europe starting in late May with the goal of helping Europe return to its rich Christian heritage. Following are some of the cities with planned events:
• Paris, France: May 29-June 1, 2009
• Iverness, Scotland: June 19-20, 2009
• Edinburgh, Scotland: Summer, 2011
• Cambridge, England: TBD
• Marseille, France: May, 2011
• Milan, Italy: Oct. 28-Nov 3, 2009
• Monte Carlo, Monaco: 2010
• Belfast, Ireland: possibly 2012
• Madrid, Spain: TBD
Europe owes everything–its culture, its freedom, its science, and its wealth–to Christianity. But European leaders today are often defiant in their efforts to keep God and Christian faith out of public life.
While Christianity is still very relevant in the United States, and is greatly expanding in the developing world, Europe today has sunk below unbelief, and is now labeled by some as “Christophobic”.
In France, as in most of Europe, religion is likely to be associated with oppression, irrelevance, or simply the past. Only five percent go to church on a weekly basis, and most of those are the elderly. Only 10 percent think religion is “very important.” For all Europeans, that figure is only 21 percent.
Near Brussels, at Christian Center, an Assemblies of God church Pastor Paul Devos ministers to a culture in which Christianity is largely irrelevant.
“In the United States, people would more quickly turn toward at least Christ in general and Christianity, because it’s still somewhat part of the culture in general. Here in Europe we have gone beyond that point, and we do not expect anything from religion apart from some very abstract hope that there is something after this life,” Devos said.
The study “Fragmented Faith?” found that in Britain, one out of five Anglican pastors does not believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ. And only 60 percent believe in the virgin birth–that’s a lower level of belief than among churchgoers.
There have been reports recently that although church attendance in Europe is low, belief in God is actually very high.
The LPA hopes that it can make a difference in restoring Europe’s rich Christian heritage by sparking hope and excitement and bringing Europe back to its traditional gospel roots.
“Personally, I owe a debt to Europe,” states Palau. “Missionaries from England led my family to Christ more than 70 years ago in Argentina. And I can’t think of anything better than to return the favor by bringing the Gospel back to Europe.
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