Thank you to everyone who was praying for my trip to the UK. Over the next few days I want to highlight some events to give you more information so you will know how to pray for the AiG team there.
While I was in the UK, an article appeared in The Economist that was titled “No God, not even Allah.” The article identified that the majority of Muslim countries actually treat atheism as a crime, and many would deem it punishable by death. The report was inspired by news of an atheist being jailed for two and a half years in Indonesia for writing “God does not exist” on a Facebook page. Reading this article while I was in the UK stirred my thinking toward the current religious climate of the UK. The two fastest-growing religions in the UK are, in fact, atheism and Islam. Those calling themselves Muslim in the UK are increasing by 2.2 percent each year, and those claiming atheism are increasing by 2.8 percent per year. Meanwhile, those embracing the name of Christian are decreasing in the UK by .8 percent every year (statistics from Operation World, IVP).
While many would not accept atheism being classified as a bona fide religion, it fits all the categories of a religious faith. In this sense, the Economist article that I read described one religious faith persecuting another. However, I have noticed that in the UK there is a general acceptance of all worldviews—and any religion, in fact—as long as it is not Christian. The media is becoming increasingly hostile to biblical Christianity. In my short visit to England and Wales, I noted that many “giants” in the Christian faith—such as Owen, Wesley, Whitefield, Bunyan, and others who impacted the world with the gospel—are merely a dim shadow from the past.
What is quite astounding to me is that real persecution of Christians may not be far off in the UK. Christians are already being censored for standing on God’s Word when it comes to creation, marriage, sexuality, abortion, or other moral issues. A return to the climate of persecution for simply holding to a biblical faith is not at all unthinkable. Yet the Bible teaches Christians to love their enemies and do good to those who hate them and spitefully use them.
We are commissioned to bring the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ for salvation to every individual—and this includes everyone in the great United Kingdom. The message of Answers in Genesis combats the hateful attitudes of the secularists and those who espouse intolerance toward believers who confess that Jesus is Lord. The message is that we have an authoritative Word of revelation from our Creator. This message gives us a credible and confirmable historical account, which points to its authenticity as a reliable revelation of God. This message also announces the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ alone for everyone who believes. What an incredible opportunity exists for the AiG message to strengthen the church in the UK as we stand to deliver the gospel to those who walk in the darkness of their unbelief.
In Christ our Creator who is Savior, Steve Ham