Swedish society: some challenges

Sweden enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the world and is one of the nearest things to a utopia in the minds of many progressive minded liberal folk. The truth is, of course, that while having many things to it’s credit, Swedish society is not perfect. Which shouldn’t be surprising (although it may be to some Swedes). Here are some challenges contemporary Sweden faces: It has a very high divorce rate. Around half of all marriages end in divorce and 1 in 3 17 year olds have…

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Sweden 

Religion in Sweden

What to say about faith in Sweden? How do you read the numbers?  Is God dead in Europe or not? Is the news of the demise of Christianity in Sweden premature? Well, depends where you look. Wherever you look though most reckon on around 3-5% of Swedes regularly attend church; it’s considerably lower in Stockholm (maybe 1-2%). Right now Sweden is a very secular nation. However the religious outlook for Sweden is not necessarily one of increasing secularism. The number of Muslims as a share of the population is likely to increase,…

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Articles 

Case study: Sweden

Following last week’s posts on Europe, I’ve decided to follow that up with a series on my adopted country Sweden. Before we get to more weighty issues, today is an overview of Sweden for those that don’t know very much about this country. Geography Sweden is surprisingly big. It is the 55th largest in the world but the 4th biggest in Europe. It’s near 450,000 sq km makes it bigger than Germany. It’s a long country, sharing the longest uninterrupted border in Europe with Norway. As a northern nation it…

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Articles 

Praying for Europe

It’s my personal conviction that Europe is seriously lacking in missional investment and church planting resources. The road to dealing with that begins in prayer. Here are some prayer points taken from Operation World. Biblical illiteracy is shockingly common considering the high levels of education and historic influence of Scripture in European history. A new generation of leaders must be raised and trained. The need remains urgent – committed, culturally aware and biblically sound leaders who can pastor, teach, evangelize, speak prophetically into Church and society and plant churches where…

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Articles 

Why Europe matters

Europe has a significant Christian heritage but it no longer has a Christian present. The open question is what place will Christianity have in its future? There are many great gospel centred churches and movements hard at work all over the continent but is it enough? Here are some facts as to why Europe still matters: 730-750 million people. That’s a lot of people. 11% of the world’s population live on 6% of it’s surface. It’s wealth gives it considerable influence. The EU is the biggest economic market in the…

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Articles 

Europe: the challenges

I’m not talking about the parliament or the euro but, instead, about the church in Europe which faces challenges that are unique to this continent. The context is that of an overwhelmingly Christian shaped past but in a rapidly secularizing and pluralistic present that has rejected much of Christianity. Cultural religion exists as an empty shell. There are churches but there is little faith. Patrick Johnstone in The Future of the Global Church writes of Europe (p98), “Most of the population claim to be Christian, but generally this does not…

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Church 

The decline of Christian Europe

The idea that Europe is no longer Christian is no surprise to anyone. Secularists have long been telling us that we no longer believe and church attendance would seem to bear that out. So how bad is it? Patrick Johnstone in The Future of the Global Church writes, “A ‘Christian’ continent in 1900. Are we witnessing the death of Europe’s civilization? A high degree of nominalism, increasing secularization and growing influence of liberal theology, and disillusion and cynicism following two world wars led to massive decline in church attendance. Increasing…

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Articles 

How Christian is Europe?

I’ve lived in Europe nearly my whole life (except for one year in Africa), most of it in the UK and now a growing portion in Sweden where we are planting a church. I’ve recently been giving some thought to the situation of Christianity in Europe and decided to write a short series on it, sharing resources, need and some of the successes and challenges. The focus will be almost entirely on mainland Europe. The first challenge is to figure out exactly how ChristianEurope is in the first place and…

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