Isn’t Europe Christian?
It is easy to want to quickly answer this question with a simple “yes.” After all, Europe is a beautiful continent filled with amazing historical treasures, rich cultural heritage, and soaring cathedrals pointing to the heavens.
And yet, it is a continent without the Light of Jesus Christ. Europe is drowning in spiritual darkness.
This can be hard for us to understand because Europe is comprised of nations known for centuries of prevalent faith that were once ruled by monarchs who professed unwavering belief in God. Europe even gave birth to the Protestant Reformation—a major milestone in Church history.
But now these countries are walking in a deep rejection of the truth of the person of Jesus. The denial of God’s existence is rampant. The ornate buildings once filled with devoted followers of Jesus are now museums often vacant of true worship.
God drew East-West’s attention to Europe through the refugee crisis and the realization that the Arab Muslim population was rapidly expanding. That’s when the true spiritual state of Europe came to our attention. Atheism was and is on the rise, leading to a mass rejection of the message of Jesus Christ. A quiet transformation occurred as eyes focused on other areas of the world where people had never heard the gospel.
In most countries, less than two-percent of the population is Protestant, meaning they identify as a mainline denomination or evangelical. In countries with large Catholic populations, it is not unusual for less than 10-percent of Catholics to practice their faith with the majority claiming to be Catholic because of culture, not faith. In France alone, there are more practicing Muslims than practicing Catholics and Protestants combined.
There are few workers to share the gospel with what often amounts to 75- to 90-percent of a country’s population, including nationals, immigrants, and refugees. Pastors are eagerly asking us to find and send more workers. They want to share the gospel, they want to disciple new believers, and they want to multiply, but most churches are tenuous at best with small numbers and not enough volunteers to do much more than attend weekly services and possibly a mid-week small group.
So the next time someone asks you, “Isn’t Europe Christian?” be sure you are prepared with a definitive answer of “Absolutely not!”
The small European church needs our prayers, our encouragement, and our support. While its outward beauty continues to shine, Europe is crumbling spiritually and is in desperate need of the clear gospel message of Jesus Christ.
East-West's missionaries and national partners are stationed in nearly 50 countries around the world that are categorized as unreached or restricted access. For security reasons, we do not disclose their identities.