Research released by World Values Survey (WVS) confirm Göran Skytte’s thesis about the real state of the Swedish citizen in regards to spiritual (and I may add, social) poverty. The results of the research as measured by WVS by grading on axes in the picture below show that we are the most secular and most individualized nation in the world. For some that might be considered a great exploit and shows how we are in control, for me it only shows how far we have fallen from our intended life. (For more information on World Values click here and here).
We are social and spiritual beings with a need for true community and with a need for purpose and destiny. The assumption that we don’t need anybody and the exalted view on the celebration of independency as if it was a merit only shows our true poverty as we stick our heads into the sand ignoring the reality of life.
The sticking of heads into the sand can be a great way to conceal the tears we are crying as no one knows what is happening down under the surface in the sand. However, it takes a strong person to shed those same tears publically and to admit the need for others and God in ones life.
That’s the Way I see it!
The Christian Daily Dagen addressed a study conducted by Anna Kiefer from The Kairos Future institute about how “Soft values and money go hand in hand”.
The institute concludes as they compared a world wide study done among 22 500 persons from 17 countries in the ages 16-29 and 30-50. Among the ones born in the 1980ties in Sweden they found how few believed in God and how religion played a small roll in their life in regards to their values. Only 38% believe in God in comparison with 75% in the USA.
This is nothing new to me, I wrote about similar things in a blog in April called “World Values Survey – another way of looking at cultures!” When you check the blog and the diagram you will find that Sweden is the most individualized and secular nation in the world.
However, we need to make a couple of observations: religion in the USA is closely interwoven with culture (as it is in many other nations as well). When people call themselves believers in God this may mean many different things. Coming from a Roman Catholic background myself I knew of NOT ONE true believer in God throughout my upbringing. (Read part of my story)
Many people whom I know from many different cultures and backgrounds might more easily then Swedish people use words of faith, believe, beliefs, God and other “religious” expressions in comparison to others. This does not necessarily mean much to them; it is part of their culture heritage rather than having faith in God as a person.
At the same time I can encourage you to check out The Kairos Institute website because they do provide a lot of good, well researched information which we need to take consider as we effectively and relevantly want to make a case for Christian faith in out nation!
A subjective observation from my side makes me believe that many young people in Sweden are searching for the purpose of their life and that they do not dismiss God as potential answer to their quest. In day to day, face to face contacts many give indications that they want to experience God in their life and that they long for finding the roots of their existence.
That’s the Way I see it!
Posted in Christ, Church, leadership, lifestyle, mission
Tagged anna kiefer, beliefs, Dagen, God, Gud, kairos institute, secularism, secularization, sekularisering, sekulär, sverige, Sweden, tro, ungdom, youth
Dagen and Svenska Dagbladet report about the new initiative of Lars Leijenborg, the minister responsible for college and university education in Sweden. The challenges in regard to integration of the Muslim citizens are growing and obviously there is a tremendous need to deal with these aspects of society as segregation continues grows in our nation.
The imams which are employed by the Muslim community are often schooled and supported by more traditional wings of Muslim believers, and are not always good examples of integration as they lack the ability to communicate in Swedish and show little interest in Sweden as a potential “home country”.
From a perspective of a practicing Muslim this is rather understandable; the far gone secularization within our society and the (in their eyes) normless and valueless way of life are truly a threat to the way of life as taught by them.
“The goal is not to have a reform of Islam” says Leijenborg, but let’s be honest, one way to steer away these groups from the feared radicalization of Islam is to secularize them! In the same way as our theological education has been influenced and adjusted to a politically correct perspective, so also will a state led imam education lead to a secularization of Islam.
Don’t get me wrong; I am not a supporter of Islam and its spread in our nation! But, we have to be realistic as we are a multi-cultural society; we have to give room for people and their beliefs as a consequence of their presence here.
If I were to name one of the strongest aspects of Swedish today’s society it is its ability to secularize everything and everyone! That’s not so strange… Some time ago I wrote a blog on a world values survey where Sweden ranked highest in these aspects. READ>
For now, I will not be fighting against the secularization of Islam, but will do everything in my power to remove the entanglements of secularization on the Church, the Body of Christ!
That’s the Way I see it!
Posted in Christ, Church, leadership, lifestyle, mission, Uncategorized
Tagged Church, imam, integration, islam, lars leijenborg, politically correct, reform of Islam, secularization, Sweden, theology