(ConservativeHub.com) – According to new reports, churches in Europe are ending up either abandoned or repurposed for entertainment. Monsignor Johan Bonny, a Bishop in Belgium, spoke to the Associated Press, saying that the situation was “painful” but that there was no way of going back to the way things were. It’s reported that the increase in abandoned and repurposed places of worship is an indication that Christianity has been on the decline.
Many of the churches are now being converted into clothing stores, nightclubs, and even hotels. The Sacred Heart Church in Mechelen, Belgium which was shut down a couple years ago, has now been turned into a café and concert venue. According to AP, the hope is that it will help elevate the former church to a “new cultural hot spot” in the town.
According to AP, a Pew Research study from five years ago found that although 83 percent of Belgians state they grew up as Christians, only 55 percent still consider themselves followers. Ten percent of Belgians have stated that they are regular Church goers. This is not a trend exclusively occurring in Belgium, as similar downward trends exist in Italy and Germany.
Still, this trend is most commonly seen in Flanders, Belgium, as towns in the region often had around half a dozen churches. Local leaders have pointed out that many of those churches were financially hard to maintain and that many had become an eyesore. Mechelen Mayor Bart Somers, who has been a leader of this conversion church, pointed out that churches have now been converted to breweries, hotels, cultural centers, and libraries.
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