The Top 10
Before we take a look at this week’s country, I want to do a shout-out to the top ten visitors to this blog. In other words, the following are the countries from which this blog has received the most registered views (aside from the United States) since February of this year (2012).
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
Thanks to all of you from these countries who have taken the time to visit The Recovering Legalist. I just wish I could visit every one of your countries to thank you in person.
There are a lot of poor countries in the world. Many countries have a population that makes an average of just a few dollars a day. But not Luxembourg. According to those who know these things, Luxembourg is the second-richest country in the world (per capita), yet one of the smallest. The average income in Luxembourg is around $80,000. Wow.
This little country has been around for a long time, even since the Roman days. It is full of history and beauty. It is also a very modern and cultured country.
Luxembourg and Religion
When it comes to the religious atmosphere of Luxembourg, let me just quote a couple of paragraphs from Wikipedia…if you don’t mind…
Luxembourg is a secular state, but the state recognises certain religions as officially mandated religions. This gives the state a hand in religious administration and appointment of clergy, in exchange for which the state pays certain running costs and wages. Currently, religions covered by such arrangements are Roman Catholicism, Judaism, Greek Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Russian Orthodoxy,Lutheranism, Mennonitism and Islam.
Since 1980 it has been illegal for the government to collect statistics on religious beliefs or practices. An estimation by the CIA Factbook for the year 2000 is that 87% of Luxembourgers are Catholics, including the royal family, the remaining 13% being made up of Muslims, Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Jews, and those of other or no religion.
According to a 2005 Eurobarometer poll, 44% of Luxembourg citizens responded that “they believe there is a God“, whereas 28% answered that “they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force” and 22% that “they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force”.
So, in other words, the government runs the churches. Personally, I don’t think that is a good idea. The idea that the state could have a hand in who leads a congregation in exchange for pay is a little (no, a lot) disturbing. I can imagine a thousand ways that could go wrong.
But the upside to it all is the statistic that says, essentially, 72% of those in Luxembourg believe there is something more to life than stark secularism. Either they believe that there is a God, or they believe that there is “something” out there. That’s good. At least there’s hope.
Pray for the people and churches of Luxembourg. I would guess they have all of the earthly things they need, but pray that they remember the words written to the church at Laodicea. Rich countries, like my country, tend to produce churches that think they have everything, but are lacking in what money cannot buy.
Because thou sayest, “I am rich, and increased with goods,” and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. – Revelation 3:17-18