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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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To: Destro
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.

There are 13,000 Dubliners joining evangelical churches every week? Almost 1% of the Greater Dublin population, each week? That is bollocks!

21 posted on 06/25/2005 8:07:59 PM PDT by Youngblood
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To: seamole
You have too much time on you hands! :)

Good job!

22 posted on 06/25/2005 8:08:05 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting johnathangaltfilms.com and jihadwatch.org)
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To: Destro

The title of this article was : "Ireland’s Growing Evangelical Churches Shift Congregation from Catholic Majority."

The article later states the following: "In Ireland, 4.2 million among the 5.6 million-strong total population are Catholics." Hmmm. Last I checked that means 75% of the population is Roman Catholic. Wouldn't that be a majority, and a fairly large one?


23 posted on 06/25/2005 8:16:49 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Eastern Catholicism: tonic for the lapsed Catholic)
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To: RKBA Democrat

There is confusion to the numbers. Latin America is also seeing a growth in Evangelical churches though again the Catholics are still in the majority.


24 posted on 06/25/2005 8:20:47 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting johnathangaltfilms.com and jihadwatch.org)
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To: gbcdoj; Christopher78

***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.***

Here seems to be the problem - you are failing to recognize an authentic work of the Spirit when you see it because it doesn't fit into your framework or group. People in the NT had the same issue - even the disciples did! Do you remember the disciple wanting to prohibit those who were casting out demons in Jesus name?

There are Chinese Christians suffering and dying in communist jails RIGHT THIS MINUTE because of their testimony for Christ. Some of these people may not even know what the Catholic church is. But their lives have been utterly transformed by the message of the gospel that they read off a scrap of paper or heard from a passing chinese evangelist - and they have gone on to proclaim that message at great personal cost. And you want to tell me that Jesus considers them as "heathens and publicans"?

Put the popes and theologians down for a minute and go and read the New Testament. Let it shake up your presupositions.

"A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.' And he answered, 'I will not,' but afterward he changed his mind and went.

And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, 'I go, sir,' but did not go.

Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first."

Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you."


25 posted on 06/25/2005 9:09:01 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

To: Christopher78

*** Sheesh. Stop putting words into my mouth. ***

I'm sorry, I included you in the post out of courtesy because you were the person he posted to. I wasn't really responding to anything you siad.


***Stop making this non-issue into something big.***

I't only a big issue if the RCC claims they are the only way...



***You are either filled with the Holy Spirit (courtesy of your faith and believe in Christ), or you are not. It is that simple.***

Agreed.


28 posted on 06/25/2005 10:32:00 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Destro

Thanks for posting. I really have little use for evangelicals who send missionaries to Catholic countries, where the Catholics have done the hard work (converting people from paganism to Christianity) and the evangelicals are looking for easy pickings. If evangelicals put 10% of the effort in the Arab world that they put into Latin America, I'd have much more respect for them. (And even in the Arab world, they mostly focus on established Christian communities, not Moslems).


29 posted on 06/26/2005 6:42:17 AM PDT by Thorin ("I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.")
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To: Thorin

You should come to the postings where I show the Russian Orthodox say the same thing about Evangelicals and Catholics!


30 posted on 06/26/2005 9:20:15 AM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting johnathangaltfilms.com and jihadwatch.org)
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To: Destro

I actually have sympathy with the Russian Orthodox in that regard.


31 posted on 06/26/2005 12:14:17 PM PDT by Thorin ("I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.")
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To: Irish_Thatcherite
That is a good point; why is Evangelicalism in direct competition with Catholicism?

Because preaching to nominal Catholics is an easier task than, say, evangelizing muslims, hindus, or secular humanists.

That said, it's mainly the fault of the Catholic bishops . Fifty years of pathetically weak and vaporous catechesis coupled with the heresy of "sola judicia socialis" has left the door wide open for this kind of stuff.

Benedict XVI has his work cut out for him.
32 posted on 06/26/2005 12:57:08 PM PDT by Antoninus (Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini, Hosanna in excelsis!)
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To: charliemarlow
But evangelicals, why don't you leave the Catholics alone? Please explain why you dislike our religion so much.

An honest question, deserving a respectful answer.

Because the primary theological loyalty of so many Catholics we knew and/or were is not to the Triune God, but to some substitute object of devotion. Many, for example, believe the sexless suffering mother goddess is a better bet than the remote, austere, and unfriendly Deity. For many catholics, Mary is more approachable than the God who "put on shoes" to walk among us. Mary is a mother, whose mother love is a better hook for our hopes than the sacrificial masculine love that embraced grusome death on our behalf. Mary shows up in visible apparitions, answers prayers, and gently nags her infants to "be good."

On a human level, discovering that salvation was a gift, the start of life, rather than its terrifyingly improbable goal, reserved for the deserving, has made permanent protestants out of many cradle catholics.

33 posted on 06/26/2005 1:08:34 PM PDT by TomSmedley (Calvinist, optimist, home schooling dad, exuberant husband, technical writer)
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To: Antoninus; Irish_Thatcherite
*** Because preaching to nominal Catholics is an easier task than, say, evangelizing muslims, hindus, or secular humanists.***

A nominal Catholic is just as lost and on their way to an eternity separated from God as is a Muslim, Hindu or humanist. They need to hear the gospel and be be converted as mush as anyone else.

Don't you think a nominal Catholic is owed that - especially if all the religion they've had has only brought them to "nominal" status?

Evangelicals also preach to nominal Protestants.


NOBODY will be saved because they are part of some group. Salvation comes through knowing Christ personally and individually.
34 posted on 06/26/2005 2:21:23 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Thorin

***where the Catholics have done the hard work (converting people from paganism to Christianity) and the evangelicals are looking for easy pickings.***


ping to
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1430355/posts


35 posted on 06/26/2005 2:23:17 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Antoninus; PetroniusMaximus; Coleus; Cornpone
Antoninus, PetroniusMaximus, Ye both have a point there - and I think that was my point about the nature of Irish Catholicism - I think it matters not, as long as you believe in Christ!! And I struggle when it comes to faith!!

It could be worse - we could follow that stupid cult called 'Islam'!!!!
36 posted on 06/26/2005 5:27:12 PM PDT by Irish_Thatcherite (EU crisis? What EU crisis?)
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To: Antoninus

"sola judicia socialis"

what does this mean?


37 posted on 06/26/2005 5:44:48 PM PDT by Coleus (God doesn't like moderates, Rev 3:15-16)
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To: Coleus; Antoninus

***what does this mean?***

By social justice alone?

I.E. Salvation through liberal ideas of social equity and justiuce.

Perhaps?


38 posted on 06/26/2005 6:06:48 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus; Christopher78

Hi Petronius,

I do not judge those Christians you refer to. They may indeed be in the life of grace. But any Christian life which appears outside the Church must be connected to her. "3 Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 One body and one Spirit: as you are called in one hope of your calling. 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism. 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all. 11 And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors: 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the word of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Until we all meet into the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ: 16 From whom the whole body, being compacted and fitly joined together, by what every joint supplieth, according to the operation in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body, unto the edifying of itself in charity." (Eph. 4)

This is what Pius XII himself says in another segment of the same encyclical letter: "We ask each and every one of them to correspond to the interior movements of grace, and to seek to withdraw from that state in which they cannot be sure of their salvation. For even though by an unconscious desire and longing they have a certain relationship with the Mystical Body of the Redeemer, they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church".

I cannot receive speaking of "your framework or group". In the NT I see one united and visible Church that was promised to endure until the end of the world, to which the promises of sanctification and salvation were given. To suppose that belonging to her - and I find her today to be the same Catholic Church - is only a very minor matter seems foolhardy to me.


39 posted on 06/26/2005 7:45:26 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Pope Pius X, it is you who are of men the most modern.)
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To: Christopher78
Someone has to keep you tired "Liberal Catholic" cliches in step.

I hate to break it to you, Chris, but you are a 'liberal Catholic'.

40 posted on 06/26/2005 7:47:51 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Pope Pius X, it is you who are of men the most modern.)
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