Evangelical groups from the U.S.A. are on the
increase worldwide. These “born-again” Christians stand
for conservative beliefs like the abolition of abortion and the
issue of abstinance from premarital sex. They also believe in the
imminent return of Jesus Christ and the forthcoming decisive battle
of Armageddon. Through the dynamic of the political events after
the attacks on September 11th they recognize the signs of their
promise. Beginning in the U.S.A., these missionaries are carrying
their literally understood message of the bible into the far reaches.
Increasingly in central Europe.
than 4000 evangelical groups surged to the Olympic Games in Athens.
They saw the international gathering and the cosmopolitian demographic
there as the perfect promotional platform for their message of salvation.
Evangelical strategists purposefully make use of large sporting
events, in order to reach as many people as possible. Fortunately
the games already carry an air of spirituality (and holiness) in
Greece. There is in fact a law prohibiting missionaries of other
persuasions from evangelizing their beliefs in the Greek-orthodox
American lobbyists decry such regulations. Methods which are considered
normal in the U.S.A., would stigmatize religious groups, across
the Atlantic, as “sects” very quickly. The communities
feel constricted. Europe would be a “developing country”
in so far as religious freedom is concerned. Since the “Freedom
from Religious Persecution Act” of 1998, the enforcement of
religious freedom has been announced as a foreign-policy goal of
states and churches keep the practice of separation. Christian American
medias affirm that the French secret police spied on an Alsatian
community in an aggressive way. In the Swedish town Borgholm, an
evangelical preacher said, he didn`t do anything but preach the
bible. But due to a new law protecting minorities, he was convicted
to one month in prison because of his defamation of homosexuals.
In both cases, U.S. lobbyists are fighting for a revision of the
laws for the benefit of the radical Christians.
Is the growing political influence of the
evangelicals in the U.S.A. also gaining more importance in Europe?