Tag Archives: Luxembourg

Republic of Moldova

New, but Old

Back in 1991 I spent about a month in Romania. It was during this time that civil unrest broke out in the little country of Moldova. To say the least, it was a little unnerving to be only 90 miles away from Russian Spetsnaz “peace keepers.”

It was in 1991 that tiny Moldova finally gained its independence from the Soviet Union. But Moldova has been traded back and forth for thousands of years between different tribes and nations. At one point Moldova was actually part of early Romania, but it was also controlled at different times by the Romans, the Huns, the Bulgarians, and the Mongols.

Opposite of Luxembourg

If you remember last week’s country, Luxembourg, you will remember that she is one of the most wealthy countries in the world (per capita). Well, if Luxembourg is top on the money list, Moldova is right at the bottom.

According to the European Parliament (via Wikipedia), Moldova is the poorest country in all of Europe in terms of GDP. And despite their economy growing in the last few years, the per capita GDP is only $2022.! To put that in perspective, the United States’ per capita GDP is $48,400, while Luxembourg’s $115,000! 20% of the population lives at or below the absolute poverty line of $2.15 a day.

Religious

According to one of the only sources I am using today, most of the people in Moldova are Christian (93.3%). The only problem with that number is that most are either Russian or Romanian Eastern Orthodox. It is said that the church is so affected by culture and national interests that professing atheists (0.4%) participate in religious activities simply because it’s the thing to do.

My concern is that there may be the ability to know the truth of Christ within the churches of Moldova, but do they? Is Christianity mostly a cultural institution, or do they really know Jesus?

It is not my intention to belittle the Orthodox Church in Moldova. But it makes me wonder: a country that forces all religious groups to register with the state doesn’t help me to believe that 93% of its citizens are filled with the Spirit.

Grace Awaits

Many times religious people find their hope of salvation in the keeping of tradition, the confessional, or prayers to saints in a candle-lit room. What they don’t understand is that Grace is calling out to them. Jesus wants to set them free from legalism and a cold, unevangelical faith.

I don’t know how many visits I have had to this blog by people in Moldova, but it can’t be more than a few. Yet, there has been at least one, so just pray that this site might spark a revival in such a poor and thirsty land.

And while you are praying, pray for the economic situation in Moldova.

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Luxembourg

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).

  1. United Kingdom
  2. Canada
  3. Sweden
  4. Philippines
  5. Australia
  6. Germany
  7. Ireland
  8. New Zealand
  9. India
  10. Brazil.

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.

Luxembourg

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 CatholicismJudaismGreek OrthodoxyAnglicanismRussian Orthodoxy,LutheranismMennonitism and Islam.[94]

Since 1980 it has been illegal for the government to collect statistics on religious beliefs or practices.[95] 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 MuslimsProtestantsOrthodox ChristiansJews, and those of other or no religion.[96]

According to a 2005 Eurobarometer poll,[97] 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

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

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