Czech Republic (MNN) — According to the most recent
relevant Eurostate Eurobarometer poll, 30-percent of the Czech Republic's
population are atheists.
That's not surprising. Mission agencies have found that atheism follows the wake of Communism
among a new generation of young people. This age group has new opportunities under democracy: a way of life found in new freedom and in hope for a future better than
that of their parents.
However, the new freedom also opened doors to destructive
elements, which are hard to fight: drugs, pornography, promiscuity, and
violence. Without a moral compass or a
faith in place to guide them, the results can be disastrous.
Rody Rodeheaver with IN Network says the vacuum formed by
atheism is filled by disillusionment and addictions. That could mean greater problems down the
road. "As recruiting efforts of
terrorist groups continue to grow around the world, this is an area that will
become ripe for these kinds of recruiting efforts."
The situation offers
both opportunity and challenge for Christians to serve. Society in danger welcomes help that can put
their best resources–their youth–back on track. This
is how IN Network can speak to 35,000 students at state schools every year
about ethics and morality.
The team works at forging ministry relationships. Rodeheaver says, "We actually get invited by the staff to present on drinking, drugs, sexual promiscuity, which allows
us to do teaching of a moral nature. Our staff then shares their own personal
testimonies with these young people inviting them back to drop-in centers and
church youth programs."
I.N. Network Czech Republic presently has six youth
evangelists working across the country in schools. They call their program
"Healthy Youth." The youth evangelists can present the
Christian point of view in a non-threatening way where the students can
interact and discuss their points of view. They're also working toward
producing a Christian video aimed directly at this age group, which will be
useful for youth ministry.
Their team's work is recognized as a helpful prevention
against destructive influences. Yet these themes touch upon burning questions
which young people are dealing with and which faith in Jesus Christ can
radically change, whether it concerns, for example, relationships &
sexuality, the value of human life, seeing oneself as being a valuable person,
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