In a recent correspondence with a Friend in Germany, I have been reminded of a fundamental difference in attitude toward religion, especially Christianity, in European culture compared to American culture. In Europe, for centuries, the collusion, even the familial connection, between those in ecclesiastical authority and autocratic monarchs or dictators, has led to suspicion of Christianity and evangelism as instruments of repression. Our history, in these United States, is the joy of being able to fully and publicly profess and live our Christianity having escaped from any coercion or restraint by civil authority.
Let us pray that people in Europe will heal from their heritage of “established” religions and feel safe and welcome to experience the love of God through Christ and to live in and to share that love. Let us pray that people in these United States will be vigilant and strong to defend and exercise our freedom of religion even in the face of indifference, ridicule, or oppression.