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Irelandís Growing Evangelical Churches Shift Congregation from Catholic Majority
christiantoday.com ^ | Friday, June 24 , 2005, 17:28 (UK) | Lucy Vanakova

Posted on 06/25/2005 1:14:46 AM PDT by Destro

Ireland’s Growing Evangelical Churches Shift Congregation from Catholic Majority

Posted: Friday, June 24 , 2005, 17:28 (UK)

A report released by the Evangelical Alliance Ireland (EAI) recently showed that increasing numbers of Irish people are converting to evangelical Christianity. With an estimated weekly total congregation in evangelical churches rising by 13,000 members each week in the Dublin area alone, the Catholic majority in Ireland is shifting and forming a new religious face.

Greater Europe Mission (GEM), a devoted mission agency which supports church planting throughout Ireland, told the Mission News Network (MNN) about the trend.

Twenty-five years ago there were only 40 evangelical churches in the Dublin region, with an average of 20 to 30 members. Now 130 churches have been identified with an average membership of 100.

Phil Kingsley of GEM has worked in Ireland for 23 years, and he said, "There's just a radical explosion in comparison in the number of new churches and the number of new church groups."

He added that most of these members are coming from the Catholic Church: "There have been a lot of disappointments in the Catholic Church over the last few years. Things have come out in the media that have shaken basic assumptions that people have had and people are not ready to give up on God and ready to give up on spirituality, but they're coming back and saying, 'Is there another option?'"

In Ireland, 4.2 million among the 5.6 million-strong total population are Catholics. Father Kevin Doran, Director of vocations of the Roman Catholic Church in Dublin said to Reuters in an interview last month, the Church was shaken to its foundations by a string of scandals involving the sexual abuse of children by priests.

The Catholic Church also faces a shortage of local priests. Therefore, a lot of priests from Eastern Europe have come to Ireland to minister and revive the country.

In fact, evangelicals still number less than one-percent of the population of Ireland, according to Kingsley. However, he has expressed a great hope and excitement of the quality of its make up.

"One of the exciting things for us, from our standpoint, is to see local Irish Christians - they themselves are stepping up and saying, 'God is calling us to be the (in) in the forefront of spreading the message of Jesus, the message of hope and life across this nation.'"

GEM desires to see a self-supporting Evangelical Church throughout Ireland. Kingsley said to MNN, "Really the whole focus of our mission is to work toward seeing an authentic example of the body of Christ - a witnessing, evangelical fellowship within geographical and we say 'cultural' reach of every man, woman and child in Ireland."

Other sources quoted comments from the Evangelical Alliance Ireland, "While the Evangelical Church does indeed have certain doctrinal variations to the Catholic Church, they were very close on moral issues, and it believes that there are many different areas on which the two could work together."

Lucy Vanakova
lucy@christiantoday.com


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Charismatic Christian; Current Events; Ecumenism; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Other Christian; Religion & Culture; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholics; europeanchristians; evangelicals; ireland; prayersup; uk
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1 posted on 06/25/2005 1:14:47 AM PDT by Destro
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To: Destro; Coleus; Happygal; Colosis; Black Line; Cucullain; SomeguyfromIreland; Youngblood; Fergal; ..

It's an understandable trend considering that Irish people neither want modern secularist Ireland, nor do they want a return to the authoritarian nature of old Catholic Ireland.


3 posted on 06/25/2005 7:16:34 AM PDT by Irish_Thatcherite (EU crisis? What EU crisis?)
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To: Christopher78
I share those thoughts. The good folks there better get it together or our Creator (who does have a sense of irony) will unleash the 'hoards of Mohammad' upon them.
4 posted on 06/25/2005 7:43:30 AM PDT by investigateworld ( God bless Poland for giving the world JP II & a Protestant bump for his Sainthood!)
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To: investigateworld

I once tried to have the hoards of Mohammad unleashed on me, but the teller at the Royal Saudi Bank didn't think I looked islamic enough!!


5 posted on 06/25/2005 8:34:53 AM PDT by infidel dog (nearer my God to thee....)
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To: Christopher78

***I am Catholic, but I realize that the teachings of Jesus Christ would forbid me to EVER resort to physical violence toward another Christian simply because he/she is a Protestant.***

Whatis your opinion of the historic position of the RCC regarding the death penalty for "heretics" etc?


6 posted on 06/25/2005 1:18:00 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: All

There goes the neighborhood.


7 posted on 06/25/2005 1:31:40 PM PDT by escapefromboston (manny ortez: mvp)
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To: Christopher78

1. This is about Ireland, not Northern Ireland. Furthermore,
the fighting against the British was because of oppression, not theological matters as such.
2. Why don't the evangelicals go someplace to convert pagans if they must convert? Is it because they consider Catholics pagans? Then it is important for us to understand this.
3. 130 churches at 100 people each = 13,000 people - not yet an avalanche. But evangelicals, why don't you leave the Catholics alone? Please explain why you dislike our religion so much.


8 posted on 06/25/2005 2:37:39 PM PDT by charliemarlow
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To: charliemarlow

"2. Why don't the evangelicals go someplace to convert pagans if they must convert? Is it because they consider Catholics pagans? Then it is important for us to understand this."

You full well know that most of these are only cultural Catholics who probably wouldn't be saved according to Catholics if they continued their current path. Really your little outburst is about power and politics.


10 posted on 06/25/2005 3:13:03 PM PDT by bahblahbah
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To: charliemarlow
That is a good point; why is Evangelicalism in direct competition with Catholicism?

Because Catholicism is the World's largest single denomination (though presumably Islam will overtake it shortly) - therefore a larger market for conversions!
11 posted on 06/25/2005 3:17:02 PM PDT by Irish_Thatcherite (EU crisis? What EU crisis?)
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To: Destro; american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
"There have been a lot of disappointments in the Catholic Church over the last few years. Things have come out in the media that have shaken basic assumptions that people have had and people are not ready to give up on God and ready to give up on spirituality, but they're coming back and saying, 'Is there another option?'"

While it is comforting to know that these catholics retain a desire to continue worshiping God, they have forgotten their "marriage" vows to God through the church in which they were baptized - to love, honor and obey in good times and bad. How much simpler to look outside the relationship for a younger model with fewer constraints.

12 posted on 06/25/2005 4:15:58 PM PDT by NYer ("Each person is meant to exist. Each person is God's own idea." - Pope Benedict XVI)
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To: Christopher78
If you are truly touched by the Holy Spirit, your affiliation to a certain section of Christianity should not matter

Such an amazing statement! The Sacraments instituted by Christ for the salvation of men are immaterial?

The Gospel remains the same for all of us you know.

St. Paul would disagree; please see Gal. 1:6-9. "Thirdly, O Christian, when you hear that Martin Luther has so great a zeal for God and thinks in his conscience that he is bound to do what he does and thinks that in so doing he is pleasing God and is doing a special service to God and that he is recommitting to almighty God all the souls, which by his false doctrine he is slaying and murdering--yet nevertheless be strong in your faith and see that in this point our Savior has also warned the church, saying: 'But the time is coming when everyone who kills you will think that he is offering service to God'" (St. John Fisher, Sermon Against Martin Luther, Preached During the Octave of the Ascension in 1521, Fourth Instruction).

Do you really think that the Apostle Paul (let alone Jesus Himself) would be bothered by the fact Evangelical Christianity is on the rise in Ireland?

Yes, he would.

Here, too, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, it is again necessary to mention and censure a very grave error entrapping some Catholics who believe that it is possible to arrive at eternal salvation although living in error and alienated from the true faith and Catholic unity. Such belief is certainly opposed to Catholic teaching. ...

Also well known is the Catholic teaching that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church. Eternal salvation cannot be obtained by those who oppose the authority and statements of the same Church and are stubbornly separated from the unity of the Church and also from the successor of Peter, the Roman Pontiff, to whom "the custody of the vineyard has been committed by the Savior."[Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in its letter to Pope Leo.] The words of Christ are clear enough: "If he refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you a Gentile and a tax collector;"[Mt 15.17.] "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you, rejects me, and he who rejects me, rejects him who sent me;"[Lk 10.16.] "He who does not believe will be condemned;"[Mk 16.16.] "He who does not believe is already condemned;"[Jn 3.18.] "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters."[Lk 11.23.] The Apostle Paul says that such persons are "perverted and self-condemned;"[Ti 3.11.] the Prince of the Apostles calls them "false teachers . . . who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master. . . bringing upon themselves swift destruction."[2 Pt 2.1.]

God forbid that the children of the Catholic Church should even in any way be unfriendly to those who are not at all united to us by the same bonds of faith and love. On the contrary, let them be eager always to attend to their needs with all the kind services of Christian charity, whether they are poor or sick or suffering any other kind of visitation. First of all, let them rescue them from the darkness of the errors into which they have unhappily fallen and strive to guide them back to Catholic truth and to their most loving Mother who is ever holding out her maternal arms to receive them lovingly back into her fold. Thus, firmly founded in faith, hope, and charity and fruitful in every good work, they will gain eternal salvation. (Pope Bl. Pius IX, Encyclical Letter Quanto Conficiamur, To the Archbishops and Bishops of Italy, §7-9)


13 posted on 06/25/2005 4:43:02 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Pope Pius X, it is you who are of men the most modern.)
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To: Christopher78
You really don't live on this little planet I call earth, do you?

Yes, because it's just so absurd to support the position of the Catholic Church.

Some men, indeed do not attack the truth wilfully, but work in heedless disregard of it. They act as though God had given us intellects for some purpose other than the pursuit and attainment of truth. This mistaken sort of action leads directly to that absurd proposition: one religion is just as good as another, for there is no distinction here between truth and falsehood. "This attitude," to quote Pope Leo again, "is directed to the destruction of all religions, but particularly the Catholic faith, which cannot be placed on a level with other religions without serious injustice, since it alone is true."

Indeed, the Catholic Church is set apart and distinguished by these three characteristics: unity of doctrine, unity of organization, unity of worship. This unity is so conspicuous that by it all men can find and recognize the Catholic Church.

It is the will of God, the Church's founder, that all the sheep should eventually gather into this one fold, under the guidance of one shepherd. All God's children are summoned to their father's only home, and its cornerstone is Peter. All men should work together like brothers to become part of this single kingdom of God; for the citizens of that kingdom are united in peace and harmony on earth that they might enjoy eternal happiness some day in heaven. (Pope Bl. John XXIII, Encyclical Letter Ad Petri Cathedram, §§ 17, 67, 68)

As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith.[Cf. Eph., IV, 5.] And therefore, if a man refuse to hear the Church, let him be considered - so the Lord commands - as a heathen and a publican. [Cf. Matth., XVIII, 17.] It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit. (Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis Christi, §22)

You are essentially trying to convince me that Jesus wants dissention amongst his followers?

Well, let's ask Christ Himself: "Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's enemies shall be they of his own household" (Matt. 10:34-6). "He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth" (Matt. 12:30).

Martin Luther did the right thing. I would have done the precise thing myself had I seen such vile corruption in the Church hierarchy

If you would do the same thing, then why aren't you a Lutheran?

You are wrong to actively seek divisions between Catholic and Protestant.

If am wrong, then you convict Christ, his apostles, and their successors with me.

But no doubt then (according to these Hereticks) They shall all receive Mercy, and Such as have been mindful of the Commands of our Lord and his Apostles, and have continued found and orthodox in the Faith will then be in Danger of being rejected of Him, who will then say unto them, "It is true indeed, I did foretell the Coming of false Teachers in my Name, and in the Names of my Apostles and Prophets; I commanded my Disciples to preach one uniform Doctrine unto you; I certainly gave to my Apostles one Gospel, and one fix'd Rule of Faith; but seeing Men did not readily come into a Belief of it, I wisely chose in some Points to alter it. I promised indeed a Resurrection, and that of the Flesh too, but have since further consider'd of it, and find I cannot well acquit my self of my Promise. I then openly declared my self to have been born of a Virgin, but have since look'd upon That Declaration as a most egregious Piece of Folly and Delusion. With an assuming Air of Confidence I call'd Him my Father who made the Rain and the Sun, but another and much better Father hath since adopted me; I earnestly charg'd you not to give Ear to Hereticks, but in that Charge, I was widely mistaken." Such monstrous Extravagancies, such blasphemous Absurdities must they frame to themselves, who wander out of the Way of Truth, and take no Care to keep sacred and entire the establish'd Rule of Faith. (Tertullian, On the Prescription Against Heretics, 44)

17 posted on 06/25/2005 5:17:22 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Pope Pius X, it is you who are of men the most modern.)
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To: Christopher78
Pure drivel

Why do you belong to a Church that teaches doctrine that you despise?

18 posted on 06/25/2005 5:31:46 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Pope Pius X, it is you who are of men the most modern.)
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To: seamole

I swear I did a search.


19 posted on 06/25/2005 5:41:40 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting johnathangaltfilms.com and jihadwatch.org)
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