• Pray for reconciliation between Flemish and Walloon peoples.
• Pray for greater Christian influence from international diplomats and organizations present in Brussels.
• Pray for more fully-trained pastors to disciple young Christians.
After centuries of being discouraged and even banned, the Bible is now being reintroduced into a divided Kingdom of Belgium. This west European nation, situated between France and the Netherlands, is sharply split between the Dutch-speaking Flemings in the North and the French-speaking Walloons in the South. Some even believe that this may lead to the nation's separation. These tensions have effected the progress of the government, as the conflict has resulted in an inability to compromise.
Since gaining independence from the Netherlands in 1830, Belgium has seen its share of violence and was occupied by Germany during both world wars. Internally, the disunity between the north and south resulted in a 1980 Constitutional amendment allowing for autonomy amongst the people groups in order to avoid civil unrest, an attempt at peace that has yet be realized. Belgium's economy, like those of many other EU nations, has suffered greatly from the 2008 financial crisis. In addition, public finance is continuously in jeopardy due to the aging population and rising social expenditures; these current problems will result in both mid-term and long-term financial challenges.
Belgium has full freedom of religion, though a media bias against Protestants distorts public perception. Roughly half of the nation claims to be Catholic despite the rising numbers of people disinterested in any formalized religion. Like much of Western Europe, this has led to a cultural Christianity and nominalism within the local church that is mixed with rapid secularization. Thankfully, international churches are growing in their appeal to both nationals and immigrants, and evangelical faith has never been stronger. These churches are attempting daily to become a symbol of unity for a nation torn apart by hate.
Capital City: Brussels
Government: Federal Parliamentary Democracy
Major People Groups: 58% Fleming, 31% Walloon, 11% Other
Religion: 48% Catholic, 32% Non, 15% Protestant, 4% Islam
GDP Per Capita: $33,000
Literacy Rate: 99%
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. - John 14:14
Source: Onze Vader in de hemel: T.J.D. de Koning
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