From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Episcopal News Service Briefs
Fri, 21 Sep 2001 15:00:43 -0400 (EDT)
Survey finds that Western Europeans say they are more religious
(ENI) According to a recent survey, Western Europe's major cities are
witnessing a "spiritual revival," defying assumptions about the decline in
religious belief in modern society. More residents of the cities say that
they are religious and believe in God than a decade ago, according to the
Rev. Paul Zulehner, a Vienna-based researcher.
In Brussels, for example, those defining themselves as religious rose
from 48 to 59 percent. In Lisbon the increase went from 51 to 82 percent in
the same period. And in Vienna, a more modest increase of 62 to 64 percent.
"It was thought religion withered as a society became more modern--but
this isn't true, at least not yet," Zulehner said. "In general, the latest
data confirm that city people are looking for religious and spiritual
security in reaction to instability in work and family relationships."
The only exception to the trend was Paris, where religious belief
dropped from 55 percent to 48 percent, accompanied by a decline in church
attendance from 11 to 9 percent.
On a national level, however, the news was grim as most Western
European countries report a decline in religiosity. "The decrease in rural
religiosity reflected cultural deficiencies," Zulehner said.
World Council reaffirms Middle East policy
(WCC) The executive committee of the World Council of Churches has
reaffirmed the organization's policies on the pursuit of a "just peace in
the Middle East, and for the status of Jerusalem, and its commitment to
active dialogue among Christians, Muslims and Jews."
In the context of the WCC's Decade to Overcome Violence: Churches
Seeking Reconciliation and Peace, the resolution calls on member churches
and ecumenical partners to "focus attention in 2002 on intensive efforts to
end the illegal occupation of Palestine, and to participate actively in
coordinated ecumenical efforts." The WCC is also considering an
international conference on the occupation next year. The executive
committee supports plans to develop an international, ecumenical
accompaniment program emphasizing long-term presence, solidarity and
monitoring based on current church and ecumenical experiences in the region.
Children of Bethlehem will benefit from Anglican Christmas cards
(ACNS) Christmas cards based on photographs of creches sent by
Anglicans around the world to Bethlehem will benefit the children of that
city caught in a web of violence. The creches are on display at a museum on
Manger Square near the church where tradition holds that Jesus was born.
Photos of the card design are available on the Anglican Communion web
site at www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/. For additional details, contact
"I can't even imagine what the Palestinian Christians are facing--
mentally, physically and spiritually--following the tragedy in the USA,"
said Jim Rosenthal of the Anglican Communion Office in London. "The needs
are greater than ever."
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