At the end of the 15th Century the Reformation knew a breaktrough in Belgium, then part of the Netherlands. Many Belgians turned to Protestantism and in Antwerp many Bibles were printed in different vernaculars and distributed all over Europe. But the Counter-Reformation in the 16th Century swept it all away. Tens of thousands of believers fled to the North while severe persecution brought those who remained back into the fold of the Roman Catholic Church. During 400 years the individual reading of the Bible was forbidden, until the Second Vatican Council in 1962. The Roman Catholic Church has had great influence on people’s personal and social lives, which can still be seen today in many family traditions. During the last part of the 20th Century, more and more people have left the Church.
Belgium has a separation between the Church and the State and its laicist constitution provides for freedom of religion. The rise of globalisation has favoured a large choice of faith and convictions now picked like items in a supermarket. Spirituality as an experience has become more important than its content. Moreover waves of immigration from North Africa for instance have changed the religious face of a traditionally Catholic country. Nowadays Islam is the second largest religion practiced in Belgium.
In this big spiritual supermarket we want to witness our faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. We want others in Belgium to meet Him personally so that they too can carry on with their lives with Him.