Sweden is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe with a population of 10 million people.
The first Catholic missionary to the Vikings in present-day Sweden was the Benedictine monk Ansgar, in 829-830. A long process spanning over centuries took the country from Old Norse paganism to Catholicism. The Church of Sweden became Lutheran during the 16th century after king Gustav Vasa embraced the Lutheran reformation.
The 19th century was characterized by the entrance of liberal theology and by revivals that were sweeping through the country. Those revivals led to the starting of various pietistic Lutheran groups, as well as evangelical free churches (such as the Baptists and Methodists). During the beginning of the 20th century the Pentecostal movement came to Sweden and was embraced to a big extent by Evangelicals, while at the same time, liberal theology got a bigger and bigger foothold within the country.
The second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century have been characterized by decline, both within the Lutheran church as well as among free churches. Around 60% of Swedes are members of the church of Sweden (Lutheran), while at the same time 8 out of 10 swedes regards themselves as either “not religious” or “convinced atheists.”
Sweden is supposed to have the fastest de-Christianization in the world. For example, it is said that more than one evangelical church is being closed down every week. This has gone hand in hand with the liberalization of the church and the rapid secularization of the society, which is becoming more and more hostile towards Christian values. Due to the refugee crisis, Sweden now has a fast growing Muslim population. However, there is a ray of hope in the midst of this decline. There is a growing hunger for the Bible and the gospel among evangelical Christians (especially the younger generation). This has led many to search for answers to their questions through the Internet. Pray for a revival of truth and true religion in this increasingly secular and dark nation.