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Godless Europe?

Eldest daughter of the church, what have you done with your baptism?

Pope John Paul II

When American Christians discuss the moral state of their nation, especially if they are from the conservative or evangelical end of the religious spectrum, they commonly assume that the Christian faith is in steep decline in the United States. Such an approach amazes American liberals, who worry instead about trends to theocracy, and it staggers Europeans, who are constantly impressed by the vigor of American faith, no less than its confident public expression. In Europe, in contrast, it is tempting to conclude that Christianity is sick or dying. Though ancient churches stand as visible monuments, defining the landscape of cities and villages, most have lost their traditional role as thriving centers of community. At least in its institutional form, and that is an important distinction, European Christianity seems to be terminally ill.

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