by A. Scott Moreau and Mike O’Rear
Europe remains perhaps the most overlooked mission field in the world today. Even the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches admitted, in a recent address to the WCC’s Commission on Faith and Order, that Europe has become “a continent full of people who have never heard of the faith.”
Europe remains perhaps the most overlooked mission field in the world today. Even the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches admitted, in a recent address to the WCC’s Commission on Faith and Order, that Europe has become “a continent full of people who have never heard of the faith.” He said, “In many places today we can no longer assume the religious, much less Christian, awareness which existed 20 years ago” (Polzer 2004b).
Meanwhile, Bernard Lewis, a leading scholar of Islam and the Near East predicts that Europe is “likely to become part of the Western Arab world” by the end of this century. Lewis argues that “several factors, such as the strong and growing presence of Turks in Germany, Arabs in France and Pakistanis in the United Kingdom” indicate that “the European population will have Muslim majorities by the end of the 21st century” (Polzer 2004a).
Numerous European countries, according to Operation World, already have smaller evangelical populations than do some Muslim countries (Johnstone and Mandryk, 2001). For example, Poland has a 0.2% evangelical population and Spain has 0.4%, compared with Saudi Arabia’s 0.8% and Indonesia’s 4.0% evangelical population.
In this issue of Missions on the Web, we look at Internet resources of particular interest to those called to minister for Christ in Europe. (In previous installments we have covered Africa, Asia and Latin America; see their respective pages on MisLinks.
Of course, we discovered far more sites of value than space will allow us to describe here. We’ll introduce you to gateway sites and some of the others we found to be the most important. We offer direct access to these sites and many others via our Europe page on MisLinks.
CHRISTIANITY AND MISSION SITES
You can find valuable information on the Web about Christianity in Europe, from evangelical to Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions, as well as information on Christian missions and other religions.
The European Evangelical Alliance “brings together both the national Evangelical Alliances of Europe and a large number of pan-European mission agencies.” The Members page on their website has a list of their national alliances and affiliates, with email contact information as well as links to their respective websites. Their “News and Downloads” page has links to EEA statements and conference presentations you can download.
Hope for Europe is “an umbrella of networks, partnerships and alliances aiming to promote the hope of Jesus Christ in European life and society.” Their website includes news of events of interest as well as reports of recent events; descriptions of best practices and models of partnership; along with numerous reports, articles and booklists.
The Alliance for Saturation Church Planting facilitates “church planting in the twenty-seven countries of post-communist Eurasia.” Their website () has a page of links to all their partners (mission agencies, churches and ministries dedicated to church planting in Europe) and a page of resources including the full text of a five volume set of training manuals on church planting, a 160-page prayer book and a 125-page mentoring manual.
DAWN European Network is “a network of European leaders, based on friendship and a common vision, to see a living church in easy reach of every European.” Their site provides links to articles and resources on church planting strategy, research, and prayer, as well as news of DAWN-related events in Europe.
CrossSearch.com (a division of GospelCom) has links to thirty eight mission agencies working in Europe.
Greater Europe Mission’s website () includes a set of profiles of the individual European countries; click on the “Serving” tab and then on the “Country Spotlights” link.
The Network for Strategic Missions KnowledgeBase contains a wealth of information about Europe and Christian ministry in the region. At the NSM site, you can enter a word or phrase to search among its thousands of journal articles. For instance, the NSM KnowledgeBase contains over seven hundred articles about Europe. Click on the title of any article displayed on the screen to read the full text of the article.1
The website of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization contains the text of numerous “Lausanne Occasional Papers” that focus on topics of special concern to missions organizations working in Europe. These include papers on Christian witness to secularized people, large cities, Marxists, nominal Christians among the Orthodox and nominal Christians among Protestants.
Adherents.com is “a growing collection of over 41,000 adherent statistics and religious geography citations, references to published membership/adherent statistics and congregation statistics for over 4,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, etc.” Click on the “Religion by Location Index” link, then select a region or country from the alphabetical list to read annotated church statistics from multiple sources, together with source information and links to source websites.
The UK Christian Handbook Onlinegives access to information on some six thousand Christian and church organizations in the UK. Click on “Directory” and then choose the desired category and subcategory to browse; or click on “Search” to find an entry by organization name, chief executive’s name, magazine name or keyword. Access to the basic information (name, address and brief description) is free, while “full access” requires an annual subscription fee of £12.
Finally, for those interested in the Orthodox tradition, Orthodox WorldLinks provides access to over seven hundred websites related to Orthodox Christianity.
COUNTRY INFORMATION SITES
If you are looking for in-depth information about a particular European country, the Web is a helpful starting place. The CIA World Factbook provides a detailed profile of every country, including information on the country’s geography, people, government, economy, communications and transportation system.
The Library of Congress maintains even more extensive reports on the individual countries of Europe at their Country Studies website.
On a more popular level, Country Reports.org consists of over 23,000 pages of country profile information designed more for students and tourists. Basic information is freely available, and you can subscribe for premium content.
There are several excellent sites devoted to official government documents and offices. Try the European section of Foreign Government Resources, maintained by the University of Michigan Documents Center.
Likewise, European Governments on the WWW serves as a gateway to official government offices and documents in each country.
MSU Global Access is “a portal to information about the world that contains a database of Websites and other resources selected by experts at Michigan State University.” Their Europe and Russia page has a powerful search engine, allowing you to search by country, thematic area, keyword, language and other parameters. It also offers profiles of the individual countries, with links to embassies.
Serious researchers will not be disappointed with what the Web has to offer for European studies.
The European Reading Room is the primary public access point of the Library of Congress for research resources on all European countries. It also includes the Russian-speaking areas of Asia.
The European Internet Resources page of their Portals to the World website is a valuable gateway to online resources.
The extensive Europa serves as the “Gateway to the European Union.” Its content is arranged in four main sections—Activities (what the EU does), Institutions (how the EU works), Documents (an online library) and Services (including access to statistics, opinion polls, audiovisual library, and much more). Each section is further divided into numerous topics.
The European Studies page of the Google Directory is subdivided into nine categories and provides links to many quality websites for further research.
LookSmart’s FindArticles site is an online archive where you can “search and read 5.5 million articles from over nine hundred publications.” It uses a familiar search approach to find articles that include designated words or phrases. For instance, searching for Europe +missionary yields 993 articles; Europe +missions find 1984 articles, and Europe +evangelical finds 875.
Repositories of Primary Sources provides “a listing of over 5,500 websites describing holdings of manuscripts, archives, rare books, historical photographs, and other primary materials for the research scholar.” Their European section is quite extensive and is organized by country.
The University of Pittsburg maintains two websites of particular interest. The Russian & East European Studies Virtual Library (REESWeb) can be browsed by subject, geographical region, culture or time period; or you can search the linked websites via keywords.
The WWW Virtual Library: West European Studies site functions as a gateway to internet resources covering Western Europe. Links are organized under various headings, including European and National Home Pages, European Resources by Academic Discipline, and Organizations and Centers Focusing on West European Studies.
NEWS AND GENERAL INFORMATION
You can access the latest news and information from across Europe via the Web, including online newspapers and magazines, as well as electronic journals and radio.
The European Newspaper page of Newslink, grouped by country, gives access to the online version of major newspapers. Newslink also provides links to various online versions of popular European radio and television stations.
The European section of World-Newspapers.com provides links to online English language versions of major European newspapers, magazines and news sites. Click on a country name, and then click on the name of a newspaper, journal or website. Alternatively, you can search all the online newspapers by word or phrase.
WESSWEB, the Western European Studies Section of “Selected Western European News and Newspapers,” provides links to major newspapers and news services within each European country.
Likewise, the Europe Newspapers page of ABYZ News Links serves as a gateway to major newspapers and radio stations, organized by country.
Also, check out the Europe News and Media links on the Yahoo News Directory.
CNN also has an online European version.
Of course, the familiar Web search engines and directories are useful for finding a wide array of information of interest. Take Google, for instance:
• Searching Google for Europe evangelical mission results in over 88,000 hits.
• The regional Google directory for Europe offers a huge number of links, organized into sub-categories both by country and by topic.
• Google Discussions Groups cover a wide range of topics; on the Google home page, click the Groups tab. Searching for Europe evangelical mission, for example, displays over three thousand topics in dozens of different discussion groups.
We encourage you to keep checking back with the MisLinks Europe page for updates. And continue sending your suggestions for new links we should add, using the email link on the MisLinks website; we take all suggestions seriously.
Johnstone, Patrick and Jason Mandryk, Eds. Operation World. 21st Century Edition. Bulstrode, UK: WEC International.
Polzer, Wolfgang. 2004a. “Europe Will Be Part of the Arab World: Scholar of Islam and Near East Predicts Major Demographic Change.” ASSIST News Service, August 3. Online: http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/s04080013.htm [October 12, 2004].
Polzer, Wolfgang. 2004b. “World Council of Churches: Europe Is a Mission Field.” ASSIST News Service, July 30. Online: http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/s04070107.htm [October 12, 2004].
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Scott Moreau is editor of EMQ and chair of Missions and Intercultural Studies at Wheaton College Graduate School (Wheaton, Ill.). His e-mail address is A.S.Moreau@wheaton.edu and the Wheaton Missions Department Web address is www.wheaton.edu/intr
Mike O’Rear is the president of Global Mapping International (Colorado Springs, Colo.), which is dedicated to providing access to information for church and mission leaders, especially in the two-thirds world. He also serves as Lausanne senior associate for information technology. His e-mail address is email@example.com and the GMI Web address is www.gmi.org
EMQ, Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 102-106. Copyright © 2005 Evangelism and Missions Information Service (EMIS). All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMIS.