If you read my blog, with any regularity, I’m sure you have picked up on a theme about the spiritual climate of the Czech Republic – it claims to be one of the most atheistic countries in Europe, and even the world. Recently, I found a past link about the Czech Republic and religion that I found sad and interesting yet again. It was over at the ABC Prague blog, that I’ve blogged on in the past, but sadly it has gone quiet as of late. I thought this was worth blogging about as well, the post was Religion is not important for Czechs.
The Czech population belong to the five least religious nations in the world, it come from the research published by the Gallup company. Religion represents an important part of everyday life only for 21% of CR inhabitants. More unbelieving are only Norse with 20%, Danish with 18% and Swedish with 17% . Religion plays the lowest part in the life of the Estonians, where only 14% of the asked said it is important.
This research brought us the US company Gallup, they carried it out in 143 countries of the world. The most religious countries, on the contrary, are Egypt, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Those numbers are interesting, however from the point of view of an average Czech: If one comes to Moravia, which is the eastern part of the Czech Republic, there still might be some religious people, but in Prague, I personally met only two people who were active Christians in my entire life.
What I find interesting is that the countries they claim to be less religious than Czech – Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Estonia – all have something common about them? They are all in Europe! According to this poll the 5 least religious counties in the world are all European. I think that is a HUGE indicator about where things are in the world. I’ve said it before, that I think it can be argued that Europe may be the least reached continent in the world (see here also). I think this study from Gallup is further indication of this, but I do wonder how they conduct their studies, because 21% seems like an awfully high number for the percentage of Czechs, whom would say they are “religious.” It must be said, that even though the vast majority of people wouldn’t claim to be religious in any way, they, like all people, are deeply religious. It just isn’t directed to a deity, but to the presumed deities of self, beer, sex and/or the presumed identity of being one of, if not, the most atheistic countries in the world.
Sadly, the last sentence from the author of this post – about only meeting two active Christians in the whole city – is very accurate. Granted, being a Christian means I will know, and know of, many active Christians – both Czech and ex-pat. It’s still an interesting statement though. It makes me wonder. Wonder about the Church here in Prague. It makes me hurt – hurt for the author of ABC Prague, who has only met two “active Christians” in this whole city. Hurt for the many, many Czechs who might know a Christian, who might even be a ‘friend,’ who is a Christian and they may not even know it by word or deed of this Christian. Hurt that that church doesn’t seeming to be loving in word and deed in missional ways to this city. I hurt reading things like this, but I also pray, pray that God would break through it. Pray and long that God would stir the hearts of His people and they would turn to Him and in turn to Him they would be sent on mission, as missionaries, as every Christian is to be (John 20:21). I dream and long for the day that the Church of Prague, and Czech, would go out on mission from God. Some days would seem hopeless, but there is hope in the midst of it all – the resurrection and the empty tomb! I know you have heard it before, but I pray that it would never ever grow stale or boring to us! He, Jesus, conquered death, nothing would stop Him and His mission. So I pray and long in response to this Gallup poll and yet I also cling to the hope and promise of the truth of the empty tomb! Would you join me in praying and longing for this place? Would you join me in longing? Would you join me in pleading? Thank you!