eGiving - Change darkness to light

The social and spiritual fabric of Estonia is changing

26-Jun-2012

Beauty abounds in Estonia. Over two thousand miles of coastline meets the Baltic Sea, and thousands of islands and lakes sparkle in the temperate sun. Its rich natural resources and advanced information technology development (e.g. Skype was developed in Estonia), has resulted in a rapidly growing economy, earning Estonia the nickname the “Baltic Tiger”. Estonia’s spiritual growth however, is handicapped by a long history of spiritual darkness.

Like many other countries in the area, Estonia has a brutal history of hostile invasions by numerous foreign powers. With each regime shift, a new religious allegiance was imposed upon the people. When the Soviet Union invaded Estonia in 1940 it systematically dissolved most Christian organizations, confiscated or destroyed church property, exiled religious leaders to Siberia and outlawed religious education programs.

This religious persecution continued until 1988, when the people of Estonia were finally granted freedom of religion. But the damage had been done.

Estonia continues to be one of the most irreligious countries in the world. Almost two-thirds of its population has no religious affiliation at all. Today only 330,000 people (25.4% of the population), claim membership in the two main Christian churches in Estonia, and only 1.5% of the population, less than 20,000 people, have experienced faith in Christ.

Thankfully the social and spiritual fabric of Estonia is changing. More and more people are looking to Christ for meaning in their life. For the past twelve years Converge Worldwide has partnered with Estonian church leaders to revitalize the faith of the people.

Through children’s ministries, sports ministries, outreach concerts, pastoral training events, and the translation and publication of several key Christian books, Estonians are experiencing first hand the transformational love of Christ. Perhaps that is why the evangelical population in Estonia grows by 5% a year. Yes, every year a thousand people give their lives to Christ and step from darkness to light. God has just begun His work in Estonia.

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