The churches which are experiencing growth are the churches who have opened their doors to immigrants
Inside the European population of 750 million people, whom are heading more and more towards secularism and pluralism, there are only 4 million pentecostals divided among 55 separate movements and 36 countries. The pentecostal movement is also growing mostly in the east part of the continent. Romania is leading this trend with 6,000 churches and around 400,000.
The churches which are experiencing growth are the churches who have opened their doors to immigrants. In other words, they are giving birth to Europes way to church growth and integration, which is very exciting.
One example is in Spain, where the powerful contribution of immigrants has given vital aid to the pentecostal movement there, helping them to see a tripling of their numbers since 2009.
In Sweden there is also a markable difference as more and more pentecostal churches begin to open their doors to immigrants and refugees. Eskilstuna is one of the places where the pentecostal church has been able to baptize many recently saved immigrants. The free church called Word of Life is also headed in the same direction as its work among immigrants is making it quickly into an international congregation.
Europes pentecostal movement has an enormous challenge ahead of itself when it comes to preaching the gospel, creating fellowship, and communicating despite differences in language, religion, and culture in a time of nationalism, globalization, and a refugee crisis. In this, what we need to be asking ourselves at this time is how we can change our paradigms to see the current influx of immigrants into our countries as a resource for growth and expansion?
By Anne Gustavsen
Translated by Emily Huyck
By de:Benutzer:Gisbertn – w:de:Bild:0849 pilar ebro 2004.png, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=101355