Atheism in Czech Republic keeps youth ministry alive

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EUROPE | MINISTRIES

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Atheism in Czech Republic keeps youth ministry alive

According to the most recent relevant Eurostate Eurobarometer poll, 30-percent of the Czech Republic's population are atheists, reports MNN.

That's not surprising. Mission agencies have found that atheism follows the wake of Communism among a new generation of young people. This age group has new opportunities under democracy: a way of life found in new freedom and in hope for a future better than that of their parents.

However, the new freedom also opened doors to destructive elements, which are hard to fight: drugs, pornography, promiscuity, and violence. Without a moral compass or a faith in place to guide them, the results can be disastrous.

Rody Rodeheaver with IN Network says the vacuum formed by atheism is filled by disillusionment and addictions. That could mean greater problems down the road. "As recruiting efforts of terrorist groups continue to grow around the world, this is an area that will become ripe for these kinds of recruiting efforts."

The situation offers both opportunity and challenge for Christians to serve. Society in danger welcomes help that can put their best resources--their youth--back on track. This is how IN Network can speak to 35,000 students at state schools every year about ethics and morality.

The team works at forging ministry relationships. Rodeheaver says, "We actually get invited by the staff to present on drinking, drugs, sexual promiscuity, which allows us to do teaching of a moral nature. Our staff then shares their own personal testimonies with these young people inviting them back to drop-in centers and church youth programs."

I.N. Network Czech Republic presently has six youth evangelists working across the country in schools. They call their program "Healthy Youth." The youth evangelists can present the Christian point of view in a non-threatening way where the students can interact and discuss their points of view. They're also working toward producing a Christian video aimed directly at this age group, which will be useful for youth ministry.

Their team's work is recognized as a helpful prevention against destructive influences. Yet these themes touch upon burning questions which young people are dealing with and which faith in Jesus Christ can radically change, whether it concerns, for example, relationships & sexuality, the value of human life, seeing oneself as being a valuable person, etc.

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TAGS: Czech Republic atheism youth ministry Communism IN Network Healthy Youth program

[01/12/2010] Print Version

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