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By Anna

St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest

St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest

Evangelical Christians love their revivals and crusades. I’ll even admit that I have fond memories of them from my youth (mostly of napping in church pews). But 20 years ago in Hungary these revivals swept through Hungary with such a force that even Atheists were “saved.” After the numbers were raised and Hungary became largely Christian to the Evangelical, the Evangelicals left without giving Hungary any stability to grow.

For about a year I have questioned Evangelicalism and its place in my life.  Can a belief in certain denomination and certain doctrine really matter? Why is certain Biblical interpretation right or wrong? Though it is difficult to flesh out such questions, discussion is the best way I know how.

Christianity in Hungary became confused and manipulated by the 1990s. People made it their own, not because of a personal relationship with Jesus, but because they didn’t know what else to do with this new “Savior.”

As I visit Hungary for the next month I am also wondering what to do with this Savior I have believed and believed in for so many years. The more I study the more uncertain I am of what I believe. Though my faith in Jesus does not falter, I do not know how to explain the necessity of faith when belief in nothing can be so much easier.

Today, Christianity is non-existent in Hungary. The next generation doesn’t want the Catholicism their grandparents have so they reject any idea of God, to the point of not even knowing how Christianity fits into history. A teacher here once asked her students to name what they knew about Easter. The students knew a bit about bunnies and eggs, but sloughed off the holiday as something their grandparents did.

To study Christianity is to study the history of the Western world, but Atheism continues to grow in Hungary because it does not lead to war as Islam and Christianity does. Who can argue with that? Christians, the Evangelical Christian included, have not presented their faith well. Historically, missionaries said, “believe in God or die.” The church preaches the goodness and necessity of war, but don’t you think by the 21st century we’d have figured out what Jesus meant by “love your neighbor as yourself?”

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