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Europe Forsakes Christianity for Islam?
CBN News ^ | 2/16/2006 | Dale Hurd

Posted on 02/16/2006 4:07:06 PM PST by itsinthebag

CBN.com – Welcome to post-Christian Europe, a land filled with beautiful monuments to an ancient religion that few Europeans practice anymore or know much about.

While Christianity is still very relevant in the United States, and is exploding in the developing world, Europe today has sunk below unbelief, and is now labeled "Christophobic" and "anti-religious."

While an American might look at a church building and think nice thoughts, that's rarely the case with a European, especially here in France, where religion is more likely to be associated with oppression, irrelevance, or simply the past.

In France, as in much of Europe, only five percent go to church on a weekly basis, and most of them are the elderly. Only 10 percent think religion is "very important." For all Europeans, that figure is only 21 percent.

(Excerpt) Read more at cbn.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: cbn; christianity; eurabia; europe; europeanchristians; europeanmuslims; islam

1 posted on 02/16/2006 4:07:08 PM PST by itsinthebag
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To: itsinthebag

Welcome to post Christian Europe. First Nazism, now Islam -- it's more primitive and energetic cousin.


2 posted on 02/16/2006 4:13:29 PM PST by Stepan12
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To: itsinthebag
But some would say Europe has a new religion. Italy's Culture Minister Rocco Buttiglione, a devout Catholic, calls it "a nihilistic fundamentalism against truth." Stark calls it hedonism, and says it is why Europe is dying. No Western European country is having enough babies to replace its current population.

“The loss of faith in Europe is like an unseen black star that still has a tremendous gravitational pull,” Miniter said. “They don't understand why their culture is failing. They don't understand why divorce rates and suicide rates are so high. They don't understand why so few European women have more than one child, and why on most European streets, you see more dogs than children. This is the impact of the death of real Christian belief in Europe.”

Want to see what America will look like if we go the way of Europe? It's not necessary to travel abroad. Just visit San Francisco.

3 posted on 02/16/2006 4:13:54 PM PST by madprof98
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To: Stepan12
Europe Forsakes Christianity for Islam?

Nonsense!

Europe Forsakes Christianity for British-Darwinist-Socialistic-Evolution....and Oil Monopolies!

4 posted on 02/16/2006 4:27:08 PM PST by maestro
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...
the rest of the article .....

As an American in Europe, when you tell Europeans that you go to church on Sunday, they look at you like a museum piece--something strange,” said journalist Richard Miniter.

Near Brussels, at Christian Center, an Assemblies of God church, Belgian 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.

Among the clergy in the state churches, unbelief is extraordinarily high.

Baylor Sociologist Rodney Stark said, “It's easy to have a negative religious experience going to church in Europe. The one place unbelief is rampant is in the churches.”

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.

“It's the churches they don't go to. And one of the reasons is [that] they don't go is the people running them don't care if they don't go,” Stark explained.

There have been reports recently that although church attendance in Europe is low, belief in God is actually very high, but belief in what sort of God?  Judging from surveys, it's a new age faith with a large dose of moral relativism.

Vince Esterman, a Frenchman who grew up in Australia, has been a French pastor for almost 20 years, and has a dynamic street ministry in Paris. Although he has led a lot of Frenchmen to Christ, he doesn't talk much about revival. He speaks of a Europe that is still moving away from God.

“Europe that was the custodian of the gospel in the very early decades now is the continent that is rejecting the gospel and Christianity,” Esterman said. “And so we have seen France go into decline and with it, Europe generally.”

But instead of looking to faith for answers, the European media continue to mock America's high church attendance as weird. The British Economist Magazine wrote, "To Europeans, religion is the strangest and most disturbing feature about (America).”

Esterman said, “This last week in prime time television on one of the French national stations they had a program on God in America. And again it was Pentecostal Christians in the states, and they were ridiculed and treated as a simple minded naive people. But absolutely nothing can be said against Muslims of course because there's always retaliation.”

Stark wrote in the Victory of Reason that Europe owes everything--its culture, its freedom, its science, and its wealth--to Christianity. But European leaders today are defiant in their efforts to keep God and Christian faith out of public life.

A sociologist at the Sorbonne in Paris summed it up this way: "We are not going to sacrifice women's equality, democracy, and individual freedoms on the altar of a new religion,” said Patrick Weil, University of Paris-Sorbonne, Christian Science Monitor.

But some would say Europe has a new religion. Italy's Culture Minister Rocco Buttiglione, a devout Catholic, calls it "a nihilistic fundamentalism against truth." Stark calls it hedonism, and says it is why Europe is dying. No Western European country is having enough babies to replace its current population.

“The loss of faith in Europe is like an unseen black star that still has a tremendous gravitational pull,” Miniter said. “They don't understand why their culture is failing. They don't understand why divorce rates and suicide rates are so high. They don't understand why so few European women have more than one child, and why on most European streets, you see more dogs than children. This is the impact of the death of real Christian belief in Europe.”
 
One writer described Europe today as a majority of Christian atheists and a minority of Muslim fanatics--an exaggeration. But there is a spiritual void on the continent that Islam waits to fill. It was this void in the life of a Belgian woman, a former drug addict named Muriel DeGauque that caused her to convert to Islam, go to Iraq, and blow herself up trying to kill U.S. troops.

“I have been an eyewitness to France becoming increasingly Islamicized. There is no longer an ability to morally resist a strong culture like Islam coming into the country,” Esterman said.

Stark said, “Europe is going to get more religious than it is either because of a revival of Christianity or because they go Muslim…you can't sit there with no babies for ever.”

And because belief impacts everything from culture, to economics, to the war on terror, religious America and anti-religious Europe are likely to drift farther apart unless Europe returns to God. 

Catholic Ping - Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


5 posted on 02/16/2006 4:32:33 PM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: maestro

Europeans shall not be any better as Muslims than they were as Christians. In fact, at most only a small number shall take up the burden of converting to Islam, while most will be perfectly happy to take the second-class status as Dhimmi. Little more than serfs, with fewer freedoms than they had under feudalism.


6 posted on 02/16/2006 4:34:39 PM PST by alloysteel (Ask all your friends, "Would you want the junior Senator from New York to be your mother-in-law?")
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To: itsinthebag

No description of economy. Can Muslims design and build the AirBus, and keep Porsche and Mercedes up there with the Japanese models?


7 posted on 02/16/2006 4:38:21 PM PST by proxy_user
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To: itsinthebag
Europe Forsakes Christianity for Islam?

They're just going back to their Neanderthal roots.
8 posted on 02/16/2006 4:40:44 PM PST by adorno
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To: itsinthebag

Europe is on its way back to Dark Ages... or worst Stone Age..


9 posted on 02/16/2006 4:41:34 PM PST by ChristianDefender (There is no such thing as Moderate Islam...)
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To: maestro
Europe Forsakes Christianity for Islam? Nonsense! Europe Forsakes Christianity for British-Darwinist-Socialistic-Evolution....and Oil Monopolies!



10 posted on 02/16/2006 4:48:11 PM PST by Stepan12
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To: proxy_user
Can Muslims design and build the AirBus, and keep Porsche and Mercedes up there with the Japanese models?

Hey, maybe there is something positive in this for America: less competition.
11 posted on 02/16/2006 4:48:23 PM PST by adorno
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To: itsinthebag
The study "Fragmented Faith?" found that in Britain, one out of five Anglican pastors does not believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ

That means that 80% of pastors believe in the resurrection?

Hmmm....actually I find that quite high. Maybe it's not as bad in Britain as I thought.

France, I'm sure, is a different story.

12 posted on 02/16/2006 4:49:59 PM PST by Siena Dreaming
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: Siena Dreaming

It is just totalitarianism. The state controls the media and owns the churches which it neuters by making clerics employees of the state. It also controls education. It brooks no competition in its grasp for total control and power. I wish pope Benedict would reclaim the churches and clergy and make them stand on their own feet. Then they would have to care about their flocks or not eat.


15 posted on 02/16/2006 5:07:29 PM PST by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: wtp7

Someone on another thread called Islam the New Communism. I can see that. There is a difference. With the Nazis, you knew where they were and their leaders were defined. Same with Stalin, Kruschev, and the rest. They were in control of a defined country with known boundaries. We could, and did, go in and defeated them. With the Soviet Union, we didn't go in there, but we set up the conditions that hastened their demise. With Islam, they have nothing to call their own. No country, no science, art, sports, and anything else the rest of the world can lay claim to.
Islam is a disease that needs to be dealt with and dealt with severely. They are the modern day kamakazies that will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. WE MUST NOT ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN! We defeated the Nazis and the communists. We must treat Islam them same way. What is going on in Iraq is the opening salvo of what is going to be a long, protracted battle for survival. WE HAVE TO WIN THAT WAR!


16 posted on 02/16/2006 5:17:06 PM PST by NCC-1701 (RADICAL ISLAM IS A CULT. IT MUST BE ELIMINATED.)
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To: itsinthebag

If the biblical prophecy is true then the anti-christ supposed to come from the revived roman empire(the EU). In the near future the EU will join with Russia,China, and the islamic world against the United States and Israel.


17 posted on 02/16/2006 5:18:41 PM PST by MARKUSPRIME
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To: MARKUSPRIME

HBO ran a show about the writings of Nostradamus. At the end, it was shown that the Final War would be started by someone in the area of the Middle East/Iraq-Iran. I didn't put much stock in it at the time but with what's going on now, who knows. In retrospect, it all seems plausible.


18 posted on 02/16/2006 5:25:42 PM PST by NCC-1701 (RADICAL ISLAM IS A CULT. IT MUST BE ELIMINATED.)
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To: NYer
But there is a spiritual void on the continent that Islam waits to fill.

IIRC, it was C.S. Lewis that said there was a God-shaped hole in every human. And if it wasn't filled with the God of the Bible, it would be filled with something else. Man must worship something.

19 posted on 02/16/2006 5:48:15 PM PST by xJones
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To: itsinthebag

I think Islam is a cult, so all of Europe is going pagan.


20 posted on 02/16/2006 5:50:09 PM PST by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: NCC-1701
HBO ran a show about the writings of Nostradamus. At the end, it was shown that the Final War would be started by someone in the area of the Middle East/Iraq-Iran. I didn't put much stock in it at the time but with what's going on now, who knows. In retrospect, it all seems plausible.

Isn't that one of the hallmarks of a good prophecy? It sounds reasonable. Ever notice how you could fit in any of the years on the place mat at your local Chinese restaurant?

21 posted on 02/16/2006 5:58:42 PM PST by Mr. Blonde (You know, Happy Time Harry, just being around you kinda makes me want to die.)
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To: itsinthebag
Very, very good article. It largely confirms things we already know but does so with interesting commentaries.

I think, however, that in this context it is always useful to distinguish between western Europe (which the article describes very well) and eastern Europe.

I'm in Poland a lot and Christianity is still strong there. I was in Odessa, Ukraine, a few years ago and visited an Orthodox church and found many very reverent young people there. I don't want to overestimate, but in countries where extreme secularism was most oppressive a toughened Christianity has survived.

22 posted on 02/16/2006 7:29:48 PM PST by Malesherbes
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To: itsinthebag
Very, very good article. It largely confirms things we already know but does so with interesting commentaries.

I think, however, that in this context it is always useful to distinguish between western Europe (which the article describes very well) and eastern Europe.

I'm in Poland a lot and Christianity is still strong there. I was in Odessa, Ukraine, a few years ago and visited an Orthodox church and found many very reverent young people there. I don't want to overestimate, but in countries where extreme secularism was most oppressive a toughened Christianity has survived.

23 posted on 02/16/2006 7:30:24 PM PST by Malesherbes
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To: itsinthebag

BTTT


24 posted on 02/16/2006 9:14:06 PM PST by schu
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To: xJones

Blaise Pascal said that there is a God-shaped vacuum in every person's heart that can only be filled by Jesus Christ.


25 posted on 02/16/2006 11:13:27 PM PST by DeweyCA
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: itsinthebag

Excellent article and thanks for posting.

FWIW, I think that Europe as we know it is already beyond the tipping point, at least with regard to it's population. They're going to have a population crash, and there's little to be done about it in the short term. Europeans are well aware of their de-population trends, and seem to have accepted it.

The question from my point of view is what do we do to prevent our country and our faith and our culture from falling into the same chasm?


27 posted on 02/17/2006 2:39:12 AM PST by RKBA Democrat (Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.)
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To: NYer
But some would say Europe has a new religion. Italy's Culture Minister Rocco Buttiglione, a devout Catholic, calls it "a nihilistic fundamentalism against truth."

That sounds about right. We know who the Truth is, and we know who holds "a nihilistic fundamentalism against truth." We must pray for them, if they won't pray for themselves.

28 posted on 02/17/2006 5:14:23 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: wtp7
The Dark Ages did the Europeans in with their faith. Too bad.

No, since the Medieval period was the highwater mark of European culture and theology. The turning point was the so-called Reformation, and the Rationalist movement that followed.

29 posted on 02/17/2006 5:18:00 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Stepan12; All
Christianity is not dead in Europe at all, in fact, it is reawakening, and growing stronger. Pope Benedict draw far larger crowds than is predecessor, and they are mostly young people at that.

The problem is, Europeans have not been persecuted for their Christian beliefs for a long time. Now that Islam is going against them in full force, many are now looking at what they have taken for granted, and why they are being persecuted, and we will all see Europe become re-Christianized, though it may take some time.

There is always hope for Europe. Look at it's collective history. They always emerged victorious just when things were at their worst. Think of Charlemagne at Poiters, the Austrians at Vienna, the Spanish at Lepanto, and the Viking and Mongol invasions. I think Freepers should do more to reinvigorate Europe, than to simply hope that it falls.

The Vatican site has much better pictures than these. Check them out! http://www.vatican.va/gmg/photogallery/photogallery_01.html

30 posted on 02/17/2006 5:42:47 AM PST by Theoden (Fidei Defensor - Deus vult!)
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To: Theoden

Exactly - we need to rebuild Europe, not surrender it.


31 posted on 02/17/2006 8:47:03 AM PST by Heartofsong83
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: alloysteel

There may be more than a few Europeans who see the handwriting on the wall, and may be forced by circumstances to defened themselves against the 60% of that continent's Muslims who want to impose sharia. As the Muslims in Europe continue to inevitabley act up, I think they will slowly, but surely, get their wake-up call.


33 posted on 02/17/2006 5:18:55 PM PST by attiladhun2 (evolution has both deified and degraded humanity)
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To: Heartofsong83

Who is we? Europe is not part of us. We declared our Independence from Europe. It is time for us to strike our own path. If Europe decides to follow, fine. However I doubt it will happen. Remember communism, socialism, and Nazism are all European. I say forget Europe, let them save themselves. Plus besides the UK, our so called European "allies" provide almost nothing. Our improving alliance with Japan and Australia, better relations with India matter far more. I say it is a lost cause, time to shift and retrench. Dissolve the European command, make it the Atlantic Command. Bring our troops in Europe home, or send them where needed like Iraq. Europe is just a transit point, all we need to do with it is maintain contingency airbases and docks and only activate them when needed.


34 posted on 02/17/2006 6:11:21 PM PST by gafusa
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