Thursday, May 24, 2012

Greek Crisis And A Loss of Religious Faith

A few years ago, I was speaking with a Greek-American business owner who had just returned from visiting his relatives in Greece. He was telling me about his trip and he also mentioned how sad he was to find such a loss of faith and religious practice in Greece. It had been many years since he had visited and he noticed a big change. He observed young people (for the most part) not practicing their religion or taking it seriously as the older generations did. He observed a decline in faith and near-empty churches, in some parts of the country. Of course there are many devout Greek Orthodox people, who remain faithful, but he saw a loss. He said to me, " Young people think they can live without God, religious observances, prayer and devotions." He was lamenting all of it. It shook him up.
I listened. It's a well known fact that it's a problem throughout Western Europe and in Southern Europe as well. People think they can go it alone, they don't need prayer, God's wisdom or guidance. Some people don't even believe that God exists. It's all foolishness in my opinion. People are "playing with fire."
From what I've read and heard the current Greek economic crisis is very serious. Greece might exit from the euro which will have terrible effects in many countries. Greece has massive deficits and there has been a "run on the banks." People are fearful and they are withdrawing money out of banks in record numbers. Banks could fail. It's all scary stuff. The rest of Europe is having financial troubles as well. It's all uncharted territory and no one knows what will happen next. Let's pray it has a good ending...........
I wonder if "empty" churches, a loss of ancient devotions, and a decline in faith (or no faith at all) has anything to do with it. Has individualism, consumerism and secularism contributed to this mess in Europe? Perhaps. People can try to live without God and God's wisdom and guidance but eventually it will "blow up" and we are seeing that in Europe.
I think Europeans need God and prayer and the wisdom the Bible holds. But that's my opinion and many would disagree. There are many faith-filled people in Europe, and they try to keep the faith alive, but there has been a drastic increase in secularism and it's not a good thing.