Sunday, May 18, 2008

Spaniards Read Their Bibles Less than Anyone Else

"The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD." Amos 8:11

A new study carried out by the Catholic Bible Federation shows that Spain ranks at the bottom of a list of 9 countries both in Bible reading and Bible knowledge. Especially striking is the comparison between the number of people in Spain who say they have read the Bible in the last 12 months (20%) and those in the United States (75%).

I believe this study demonstrates quite poignantly the great spiritual need of a place like Spain, which, in spite of long being considered as a "Christian" country, is practically void of the knowledge of God's Word. As the old saying goes, though, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." Pray God would awaken a thirst for his Word among the Spanish people, and that He would also give those of us who are called to minister among them wisdom on how to best help them see their need of Him.

Read about the study here.


Dave Miller said...

Do you find people there open to the gospel, or innoculated by religion? I hear stories of how some areas are open to the gospel today.

David Rogers said...


That is a complex question that deserves a longer answer. At the risk of being overly simplistic, though, I will say the following. In general, I do not see Spaniards as being comparatively open to the Gospel at present. A big part of this does indeed have to do with being "innoculated" by abusive religion being "crammed down their throats" for many years. I think that economic prosperity also plays a part. There are also specific areas of spiritual bondage and blindness related to years of idolatry and repression of the truth. And, then, there are still many false conceptions and prejudices that link evangelicals to cult groups and prosperity Gospel extremists.

At the same time, there are some encouraging signs that God is up to something new with the arrival of many evangelical immigrants, from places like Latin America and Romania. Unfortunately, I have not perceived that Spaniards, in general, are necessarily becoming any more open to the Gospel at the same time, though. However, the potential for sowing the Gospel seed more widely exists with a greater contingent of Gospel sowers. And, I am hopeful that the sowing of the Gospel seed will not "return void." In many ways, I also believe that Spain is at the center of much of what God is doing in the world today, being an international crossroads for Europe, Latin America, and the Muslim world.