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    A Regional Report for the AMCF Seoul Council

          Central and Southern Europe ( September 2009 )

                                                      Brian Parker



1. Europe has a population of about 730 million in 45 countries. It is the birthplace

   of the western culture that has perhaps given both the best and the worst to

   civilisation. Although the cradle of Christian missionary enterprise, today in Europe

   belief in God is being pressed hard by atheist philosophy and secular politics.

2. The countries in the Southern and Central Europe region include the large,
   affluent, established old democracies and countries that have emerged from the 70 years

   captivity of communism. Their historic Christian traditions have been predominantly

   Roman Catholic in the west and Orthodox in the east. The UK and Low Countries

   have Protestant majorities and Protestant minorities are distributed in countries

   throughout the region.



MCF Situation

3. In 1930, military Christians from four European nations formed AMCF and have

   passed a spiritual legacy to the rest of the world. But its a bit like football. The

   English invented it but now most countries play it better than they do! A brief analysis:

   a. Number of countries in Europe Central and South region: 28

   b. Number with one or more MCFs(14)

   c. Additional number with good Christian contact(4) 

   d. Countries without significant military forces(7)

   e. Countries where no Christian contact has been made(3)




4. Of the MCFs that are functioning, the UK Armed Forces Christian Union and Naval

   Christian Fellowship are probably the only ones with an international outreach

   capability. AFCUs recent adoption of an all ranks membership needs time to take

   effect. MCFs in the older democracies have been struggling in recent years but

   there are signs of new life in France and Germany whilst Portugal continues a

   small but vigorous witness. MCFs in Belgium and The Netherlands are struggling

   for survival.

5. Countries of the former Warsaw Pact offer some inspiration with new MCFs coming in
   Albania, Moldova, Hungary and Romania in the last five years and others exercising a
   quiet consistent witness to their faith.

6. The strong traditional denominational divisions of Europe will always give rise to

   tension. This is particularly so in Russia and Greece where a dominant Orthodox

   Church exercises political power as well as spiritual influence.


The Way Ahead

7. A strategy for the next five years in cooperation with Accts MMI:

  a. A strengthening of fellowships in the west- visits, correspondence and websites

  b. Encouragement for the new MCFs in the east - visits, teaching, hosting in UK

  c. Continuation of the annual Lubbecke gathering-  International retreat by invitation

  d. A European Conference 2009 - now being planned



8. Europe is now the least religious of all the continents. Its Christian heritage is on

   view in wonderful buildings but most people visit them as tourists and not to

   worship. A revival is needed in the old democracies and the new found Christian

   freedom in the east needs to be treasured and encouraged.  Christians in the

   Armed Forces exercise an influence in the corridors of power as well as in the

   barrack block and front line.










24 1 3

1  Functional - Regional Conflict     Greshel 2009-10-12 3960
2  Ministry in China     Dunlap 2009-10-12 4853
3  VP(Mwaniki)     Mwaniki 2009-09-11 3908
4  VP(MA'AYH)     MAAYAH 2009-09-11 4128
5  VP(BenCiron)     BenCiron 2009-09-04 5691
6  VP(Gnoumou)     Gnoumou 2009-08-27 4107
7  VP(Larrazabal)     Larrazabal 2009-08-17 4040
8  VP(Louwrens)     Louwrens 2009-08-12 3906
 VP(Parker)     Parker 2009-08-12 3968
10  VP(Torbjorn)     Torbjorn 2009-08-12 4039
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