|Federal Republic of Germany|
Area 357,042 sq.km. Strategically placed in the centre of Europe and of the expanding EU.
Large influx of ethnic German and other immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of Communism in 1989/1991.
Capital Berlin 4,150,000. Other major cities: Essen/Ruhr 6.05 mill.; München (Munich) 2.9m; Stuttgart 2.65m; Hamburg 2.55m; Frankfurt 1.95m; Köln (Cologne)/Bonn 1.85m; Mannheim 1.6m; Düsseldorf 1.33m; Nurnberg 1.05m; Hanover 1.03m. Urbanites 82%.
Indigenous 91.1%. German 74.9m; Danes 60,000; Sorb and Wend 50,000; Frisian(2) 25,000.
European Union (as of 2000) 2.5%. Italian 620,000; Greek 363,000; Austrian 185,000; Portuguese 132,000; Spanish 131,000; British 114,000; Dutch 112,000; French 105,000.
Other Western 3%. Albanian (Kosovo, Albania) 719,000; Polish 283,000; Croat 208,000; Bosnian 190,000; American 110,000; Romanian 89,000.
Other 3.4%.Turk 1,610,000; Kurd (mainly Turkish) 500,000; Arab 290,000; Iranian 115,000; Afghan 70,000, Tamil 50,000; Pakistani 38,000.
Literacy almost 100%. Official language German. There are 110 million German-speakers worldwide. All languages 20. Languages with Scriptures 6Bi 3NT 5por.
Dramatic post-war recovery to become one of the world's strongest economies, with huge balance-of-payments surpluses. One of the world's largest industrial economies with a third of the output of the whole EU. In the 1990s, the hugely expensive repair and rebuilding of the crippled East German economy, rigid labour laws and high social security costs hampered progress and increased unemployment especially in former East Germany. HDI 0.906; 14th/174. Public debt 33% of GNP. Income/person $28,280 (90% of USA).
The collapse of Hitler's Reich in 1945 was followed by 45 years of partition between the democratic and capitalist Federal Republic (FRG) and the Communist 'Democratic' Republic (GDR). The collapse of Communism at the end of the 1980s led to a rapid reunification of the two states in 1990 in reality a takeover by the FRG that proved socially and economically painful to all. A core member of the EU and plays a dominant role in European affairs.
Religious freedom. A close cooperation between the government and the RC Church and Protestant Established Churches (EKD) in religious education, media, etc. All denominations with 'public law status' can levy taxes on their members which are collected by the government on their behalf. High Christian numbers below are often for those who have not opted out of this taxation system. There is growing hostility to anything overtly Christian.
1 Germany's wealth, power and strategic location in the EU and Europe could be of inestimable value for the Kingdom of God. For this, a strong, courageous leadership based on Christian values is needed. Sadly, scandals have eroded the credibility of politicians and of the whole political process. Pray for leaders to be raised up who are willing to tackle unresolved issues the economy, the remaining disparities between East and West since reunification, and Germany's place in an expanding EU.
2 There are numerous signs of spiritual ill-health in the nation. Humanism and destructive criticism of the Bible in the 19th Century enfeebled churches, and opened the way to compromise and a pagan Nazi tyranny in the 20th. Post-war affluence in the FRG and the corrosive and catastrophic impact of Marxist ideology in the GDR accelerated the secularization and de-Christianization of society. The Church is widely perceived as irrelevant and marginalized. Although 70% of the people claim to be Christian, only 45% believe in a personal God, and a mere 8% worship regularly. There is increased open hostility to anything Christian. The occult, alcoholism, Satanism and a New Age worldview are on the rise. There is also a disturbing increase of neo-Nazi extreme rightist movements promoting violence against Jews and foreigners in the former GDR. Pray that the spiritual blindness of most of the nation may be removed and these trends reversed.
3 The post-war exodus from organized Christianity accelerated during the last decades of the 20th Century. This is worst in the old GDR where 80% are unchurched. By 2000 only 5% of the Protestant EKD membership and 18% of the Catholics were active participants in church life. Overall only 3% of German men are actively involved. During the 1990s between 300,000 and 600,000 people annually opted out of paying church tax with serious impact on the income of the main Churches. The majority of churches have lost their identity, purpose and income. Germany needs a change as radical as Luther's Reformation nearly 500 years ago. Ask God for this.
4 The EKD is a federation of Lutheran, Reformed and combined United Lutheran/Reformed State Churches, but is deeply divided on political, moral and theological lines. The growing number of empty churches and church buildings falling into disrepair is a tragedy. Bible-believing pastors and evangelical/pietistic groups and congregations are more concentrated in Baden-Württemberg, Siegerland and south Saxony. Conservative evangelical bishops in the EKD are few and it is increasingly difficult for evangelical pastors to minister in congregations. Pray that there may be a return to reliance on the Bible and application of its truths in the churches.
5 The Free Churches have a high proportion of Evangelicals but only represent 1.5% of the nation's population. Some denominations are stagnating or declining, but others are growing. Between 1988 and 1993 there were 800 new Free churches planted, and between 1992 and 1995 a further 228. During the 1990s many western Free churches planted congregations in the east. Pray for an increase in vision, innovative outreach and effective church planting that reaches every area and population segment of the nation.
a) The Pietist movement continues to be an influential force within the EKD (especially in Württemberg in the south and in rural areas). The many evangelical fellowships of the Gnadau Union within the EKD represent 300,000 Christians and over 63 agencies and institutions.
b) The Evangelical Alliance has become a rallying point for over 1.3 million Evangelicals for cooperative projects, national prayer initiatives, evangelism, social action and missions involvement. A long-standing hostility between mainstream Evangelicals and Pentecostalism and latterly, charismatics, is beginning to be addressed. Pray for unity among God's people and that this may release rivers of life to the lost.
c) Between 1980 and 1995 over 1,000 new independent congregations were started many of them charismatic in flavour, all strongly biblical. That increase continues and now represents nearly 100,000 believers.
d) The influx of ethnic Germans from Central and Eastern Europe over the past 20 years has led to a large increase of Mennonite and Baptist congregations catering for their spiritual health. There are over 370 such congregations with more than 300,000 believers associated with them. Increasingly they are becoming missions-minded, but are culturally isolated from the main stream of Evangelicals.
7 Theological education has proved a major cause of decline in the Protestant Church with high levels of scholarship but spiritually destructive teachings. The 13 universities that award theological degrees necessary for acceptance into the EKD ministry have been monopolized by liberal, neo-orthodox and other non-biblical theologians for decades and Evangelicals have been marginalized. Pray for more professors who openly proclaim the Truth to be welcomed to teach in these institutions. In the mid-1990s there were 12,000 Protestants and 10,000 Catholics in these faculties, but these numbers are in rapid decline. Pray for evangelical students in these spiritual morgues. Pray for those who seek to help them stand true to Scripture through pre-university courses and hostels that run parallel courses in the university cities.
8 Missionary vision has long been limited, with proportionately one of the lowest missionary-sending figures for any country with such a large Protestant community. The total number of missionaries has remained constant for some years, but the proportion of Evangelicals has risen sharply to 80% of the total. Pray for a further increase. Pray for the Association of Evangelical Missions (AEM) with 65 members and representing 2,240 missionaries a catalytic and vital stimulant for training, promoting and sending missionaries. In 1998 the Association of Pentecostal and Charismatic Missions was formed with 19 agencies and 135 missionaries. Several unique missions are the DMG (German Missionary Fellowship) with 278 missionaries serving with 47 international missions and the Vereinigte Deutsche Missionshilfe (VDM) with 111 missionaries, but with no foreign fields of their own. Other significant German missions: Christliche Fachkräfte Int. (160), Liebenzell (156), Wiedenest (153), Christoffel-Blindenmission (32). Other major missions: YWAM (204), OM (186), WBT (153), WEC (147), Alliance Mission (128), Marburger Mission (73), Frontiers (54). Pray also for Christians in the ex-GDR to regain a missions impetus after the years of restriction and stifling of the vision.
9 Young people's ministry is vital for the future of the Church. Over 55% of active Christians are now over 50 years of age. Significant outreach events and programmes such as Christival, ProChrist, March for Jesus, etc., have given a sense of cohesion and purpose to many young people. Pray for relevant and effective ways to impact the youth in a new way. Pray for the ministries of:
b) Whole areas of Germany, while superficially Christianized over a thousand years ago, have never really been evangelized. Despite the influence of the Reformation many are almost devoid of a live evangelical witness the northern plains, Bavaria, the Eifel area on the Belgian border, etc.
11 Foreigners. The flood of immigrants, guest workers, international students and economic and political refugees since 1989 has overwhelmed the German administration and voluntary agencies. The economic woes of the former Communist countries has worsened the problem. There are many illegal immigrants and a highly-organized criminal network involved in promoting their entry from all over the world. The vast majority have never heard the gospel. There has been a violent backlash against this inflow especially in the ex-GDR, and these foreigners have often become bitter and resentful over their mishandling. Pray that opportunities to show love and concern and to share Christ may not be lost thereby. Pray also for:
a) The AFA (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Ausländer), a fellowship of mission groups seeking to evangelize through a wide variety of ethnic ministries. A number of local congregations also seek to reach these groups.
b) Greater involvement in outreach by German Christians. Some German congregations are notable exceptions to this, but in the main, most missions outreach is by foreigners (US, Swiss and others). The response to this challenge for ministry to immigrants could determine the future health and size of Protestantism in Germany.
d) Muslims, whose numbers have grown, largely through immigration and a high birth rate, to over 3 million from over 40 nations today. There are also about 12,000 ethnic German Muslims mainly Germans who married Muslims. Islamic organizations have intensified their activities and there are now over 2,200 mosques or prayer houses.
i) Turks, with over 10 agencies seeking to reach them (including Orientdienst, WEC, OM, CBI). There are no more than 80 believers among them in all Western Europe.
ii) Kurds, with a consortium of agencies seeking to reach them and prepare Scriptures, radio programmes and Christian literature for them.
iii) Iranians, with several Christian groups and localized outreach attempts.
iv) North African Arabs and Berbers little outreach.
v) Albanian and Bosnian Muslims from former Yugoslavia no outreach.
vi) Southern Europeans so many inadequately used opportunities among the nominally Catholic Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese and the Orthodox Greeks. Large areas in their homelands are devoid of an evangelical witness.
vii) Central Europeans many nominally Orthodox Romanians, Bulgarians, Ukrainians and Catholics from Poland and the Baltic states need special ministry. The Mission for SE Europe gives out millions of pieces of Christian literature annually.
viii) Roma (Gypsies) from Central Europe many have fled discrimination and persecution in Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, etc., and are destitute.
ix) Jews suffered severely in the Holocaust 564,000 in 1925 became 27,000 in 1945. Their numbers rapidly increased in the 1990s with immigration from the fSU. There are now 100,000 and about 1,000 have come to faith in Messiah Jesus.
a) Christian literature and publishing has grown enormously over the past 30 years. Many have been blessed, and literature has played a major part in the evangelical resurgence. Pray for writers, publishers and distributors of books. Pray for the impact of more than 150 evangelical magazines with a total circulation of 50 million. Pray for the impact of the German edition of Operation World, Gebet für die Welt.
i) The German partner of TWR, Evangeliums-Rundfunk, has made an impressive impact on the German-speaking world, doubling listeners between 1996-98. They claim a daily listenership of nearly 200,000 (and 4 million less frequently) on satellite, cable and medium wave and a total of 85 hours broadcast weekly.
ii) HCJB broadcasts 14 hours/week.
iii) There is a 24-hour Christian radio station that is oriented to young people.
iv) Christian TV is increasing with the launch of the 24-hour inter-church/agency Bible Channel in 2001 by satellite.
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The above information and prayer material is an excerpt from the full text of Operation World for today's date. To view the prayer calendar for the year click here. If you would like the material for other days in the prayer calendar, you can purchase Operation World (click here for more information). Operation World content © 2001 Patrick J. St. G. Johnstone. All Rights Reserved. See Policy for use and reproduction permissions. Published by Paternoster Lifestyle (an imprint of Paternoster Publishing). Web site development by Global Mapping International..