Europe, for centuries the cradle of Christianity, has now become in part a mission field itself. The proud continent first sparked the modern missionary movement, sent Carey and Schwartz to India, Livingstone to Africa and Morrison to China. Today many of its churches are hampered in their ministry—particularly to youth—by unfriendly and atheistic governments, and are hard put to stay alive. Hardly a year passes but some far-flung mission outpost, supported for decades by European Christians, comes under American or Canadian or Australian sponsorship. In western and northern Europe, where Jesus Christ is still freely preached, young men and women hear the call and the task force is moving out. But in East Germany, where the missionary movement was once the glory of the Lutheran Church, the stream of volunteers for Christ has been reduced to a trickle by the Communists.
As in the case of North America, the Western European task force is designated statistically by those “serving abroad” rather than those “in the field.” This arrangement does not imply that Europe and North America are not to be considered legitimate “mission fields.” It simply reflects the fact that missionaries from abroad, by and large, are not now working in these areas.
EASTERN EUROPE AND SIBERIA
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