Friday, July 20, 2007

The Rise of Christianity in the Global South

[The Christian Post] 20 July 2007--Like other northern European countries, Denmark has historically been a homogenous society. Also like its neighbors, this has changed in recent years with the arrival of immigrants from what’s called the “Global South.”

The religious fervor of some of these immigrants, like that of immigrants to other European countries, has shaken things up among the “notoriously staid” Danes. But if you’re thinking this is “another story about Muslims in Europe,” guess again.

A recent Washington Post story described the impact that Christians from Africa, Asia, and Latin America are having on the Danes. Immigrants have started more than 150 churches in Denmark. These churches not only minister to foreign-born residents, but increasingly to native Danes as well.

Karsten Nissen, a Lutheran bishop, called the immigrant Christian churches “a gift to our Danish Lutheran Church” that helps Danes understand how Christians are supposed to live.
According to Bess Semer-Pederson, who runs Alpha Denmark, a course that teaches the basics of Christianity, Denmark “[needs] these immigrant churches, because they are bringing a message that we have forgotten.”

What’s happening in Denmark is only a small part of a larger trend. “Churches in countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, South Korea, and the Philippines have sent thousands of missionaries to Europe to set up churches in homes, office buildings and storefronts.” African Anglican bishops are reaching out to conservative congregations in the United States, breaking away from the apostate Episcopal church.

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