Germany is full of gorgeous old churches, historical landmarks of spiritual significance, and has a history of faith revolutionists. However, the days of Martin Luther’s reformation are long gone. Communism persecuted and undermined the church, and we still see the effects today. For example, confessing Christ meant not being admitted to higher education, so even today believers are suspected to be uneducated, and faith is believed to be naive and unintelligent. After the reunification, the Protestant and Catholic state church spread into former East Germany with roughly 20% of the eastern German population belonging to the Protestant Church. However, faith in these state churches is usually nominal. And while we now see nativity scenes at Christmas and celebrations for Easter, the majority of those Germans living in the eastern part of the country, have no idea what is being celebrated.
A recent study found that only 8% of the German teenagers, located in the eastern part of the country, believe in the existence of God. Church attendance is said to be one of the lowest in Europe with only 5% attending at least once a week. 88% of former East Germany’s population is thought to be atheist, making it one of the most atheistic regions in the world.
Former East German churches are working closely together to reach their cities. They desire to reach young people, but often lack effective ideas and manpower. The Germany team is headquartered in Leipzig and, at this point, have only 2 team members, Jim and Lina Miller. They are networking with local churches and ministries in the Brandenburg and Annaberg-Buchholtz area and would love to see more full-time JV staff join to minister in these and other areas of eastern Germany.