Counting heads is a perilous guide to the extent of the Christian impact, but no evangelical can study with complacence the Christian situation in non-Soviet Europe (attested by the survey in this issue). Greece, closely linked with the New Testament, still forbids its translation into the modern Greek understood by the people, only 1½ per cent of whom attend the national church. Spain, which figures in Paul’s itinerary, was the home of the infamous Inquisition, the ghost of which still lurks today in the crushing restrictions laid upon Protestants. Italy, which heard the Gospel in apostolic times, has a frightening history of secularism, and the largest Communist affiliation outside the Soviet bloc. France, reached by Christian missionaries in the second century, shows a record of anti-clericalism, rationalism and moral decadence, and in its World War II collapse General Weygand saw the chastisement of God for its abandonment of the Christian faith. Germany, from Charlemagne’s day the champion of the Papacy, and later the cradle of the Reformation, recently stood by consenting to the greatest atrocities against humanity in world history, so that the birthplace of Luther has exchanged one godless philosophy for another. The Vatican, which controls the lives of 530 million Roman Catholics, during one single pontificate swung the balance in favor of three dictators at the most vital moment in their respective careers: Mussolini, “the man of Providence,” in November 1922; Hitler, in January 1933; and Franco, whose gory victory Pius XI acclaimed in 1937, and whom he later decorated with the Supreme Order of Christ.
A fatal tendency of our time is the blurring issues by irresponsible uses of the term “a bulwark against communism,” ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more