Berlin is one of the great urban centers of the world; it’s a strategic, influential, multicultural city. Berlin is the largest city in Germany and, since German reunification in 1990, is re-establishing itself as one of the most influential cities in Europe-shaping the landscape of politics, arts and media, the culture, and academics throughout the continent. Yet the controversial history of Berlin continues to affect the vibe of the city. It forms a society of vast diversity, open tolerance, alternative lifestyles and an edginess that is uniquely Berlin.
Although Berlin has a very long and heavy history, it’s a city that’s still very much in its adolescence, changing rapidly. It’s a city in a country where the Reformation was born, and yet where most churches stand empty. As in many urban centers, Berlin is full of wonder and full of heartache. It is a place in need of the gospel.
Metro population: 3.3 million
Twelve governing burroughs with one hundred distinct neighborhoods within those burroughs.
Religion: Tolerance & Diversity. According to a 2012 University of Chicago study the former East Germany is one of the least religious places on the planet. Only 1.5% of the city’s population follows Christ.
60% of Christians in Berlin are over 50 years old.
It is a city of great diversity representing 190 nations from around the world.
It’s a lonely city; about one-third of Berlin’s residents live alone.
It is a city with high rates of poverty. One in three children in Berlin are on public assistance compared to one in nine for the rest of the country.
In 2007, for the first time in recorded history, half of the world’s population lived in cities. By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities. Fulfilling the Great Commission will require reaching the urban centers of the world. Berlin is strategic for the Kingdom.
Why should Christians in America care about the spiritual plight of Europe? Here’s why. Europe is the intellectual center of the world and the leading educator of the rest of the world. The fastest growing religion in the world, ‘unbelief’, finds its epicenter in Berlin, a city frequently referred to as the atheist capital of the world. The post-modern, post-Christian elixir fermenting in Berlin is being exported to the rest of the world and is having a profound effect on the cultural and religious landscape of the United States.
For more information about the strategic nature of Europe in world missions please read the white paper entitled “Why Invest in Europe?” by Dr. G.A. Pritchard.