Mission leaders fight preconceived ideas about Europe as outreach slowly moves forward.

By October 2, 2003

Europe (MMN) — Mission leaders are facing a European misconception as they reach Europe with the Gospel. Greater Europe Mission’s Ted Noble says many people believe Europe is Christianized and has already been reached, but Noble says true believers are few.

Noble says Europe is one of the most unreached mission field in the world. He says, “Of the 27 countries we work in 14 have less than one-percent and most of those less than half of one-percent evangelical. So, when you think of Europe think about the place that actually has fewer evangelicals than even most of the Islamic countries of the world.”

According to Noble, evangelicals are listed as a cult because the numbers are so few and they don’t fit the state church model.

Noble says while there are many churches in the region, many people who claim Christianity aren’t Christians at all. He says older adults have been negatively influenced by the state church and are rejecting it.

However, Noble says young people haven’t been exposed to the church, ” “They’ve had no contact with the church. So, there’s a new openness to spirituality as a whole. People think of Europe as a place that’s burned over with the Gospel. The last generation was, but this generation has never been touched. That’s why we’re finding a responsiveness that we’ve not seen since the 2nd World War.”

However, that search for spiritual truth is also seeing teens turn to cults, Islam and other religions. Noble says English camps and Internet cafe’s have been effective in reaching young people.

More workers are needed to help in this outreach, which is very difficult.

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