We will ever be grateful to the generous Portuguese for bringing Christianity to Africa in the 15th century. Christianity caused a great change in Africa as Christian missions came with education, literacy and hope for the disadvantaged. While Christianity is fast growing in Africa, the reverse seems to be the case in Europe and other parts of the world.
In his article, “Christianity as a default is gone: the rise of a non-Christian Europe”, published on The Guardian (Online, 2018), Sherwood noted that the trend of religious affiliation was repeated when young people were asked about religious practice. Only in Poland, Portugal and Ireland did more than 10% of young people say they attend services at least once a week and that in the Czech Republic, 70% said they never went to church or any other place of worship, and 80% said they never pray. In the UK, France, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands, between 56% and 60% said they never go to church, and between 63% and 66% said they never pray. Similarly, Davis Voas et al, in the paper, “Is the United States a Counterexample to the Secularization Thesis?” explained that religious affiliation, church attendance, and belief in God have all fallen in the United States. None of these declines is happening fast, but the signs are now unmistakable. They added that the overall level of belief in God is being eroded as people born early in the 20th century are replaced by members of subsequent generations with weaker religious convictions. Children are raised by parents who are less religious than their parents were, and the culture is reshaped with the passing of each generation.
These statistics are worrisome and it seems to be a generational issue. It is likely that while great evangelists and missionaries from the West, Europe and other parts of the world were busy holding crusades and outreaches in Africa and other places the gospel of Jesus Christ was yet to reach, the spiritual growth of their children and neighbors was less attended to. This generation is characterized by youths and adults who prefer being addicted to social media, video games and other distractions to praying, studying the Bible, attending church services and engaging in God’s Kingdom service. This is in line with the end-time prophecy that, “In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy….” (2nd Timothy 3:2).
It is commendable that some churches in Nigeria and other parts of Africa are emulating the efforts of Europeans who brought Christianity to Africa by planting churches across Europe and other continents, however, more work needs to done to convince the younger generation across the globe to accept Jesus Christ and be deeply rooted in Him.
God has declared that the generation that wholeheartedly seeks Him will find Him and that those who seek Him, His Kingdom and His righteousness shall enjoy both spiritual and material blessings (See Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 6:33). However, God wants us to seek Him in holiness and without distractions.
“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.” (Psalm 24:3-6)
No matter the generation you belong to, you can start seeking God by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior if you are yet to do so. Say this prayer of salvation: Lord Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my Lord and Savior; I believe that You came, died for me and rose again to save me. Conform me to Your likeness. I declare that I am born again. Amen!
Congratulations! Identify a Bible believing and teaching church around your area to fellowship with God and His children. God bless you!