Revolution Against God: What Happens Now That Europe and the West Turned Their Backs on Christianity?
“We have lost our moral compass,” said Danish journalist Iben Thranholm to The Stream in a recent interview. “I think that comes from a total abandonment of Christian faith.” Iben agrees with Peter Wolfgang, who explained in The Stream that a Christian revival is Europe’s only hope. Without it, “Europe is finished.”
Iben believes the U.S. isn’t far behind.
A Deep Spiritual Crisis
Iben, a Roman Catholic, received her master’s degree in Theology from the University of Copenhagen. Her work focuses on political and social events with an eye toward their religious aspects, significance and moral implications. She has traveled throughout the Middle East, Italy, the United States and Russia to conduct research and interviews. Her work goes beyond Denmark to include issues from Europe and the United States.
A European Union task force has accused Iben Thranholm of being a Russian propagandist. The East StratCom Task Force “reports on and analyses disinformation trends, explains and exposes disinformation narratives, and raises awareness of disinformation coming from Russian State, Russian sources and spread in the Eastern neighbourhood media space.”
In response to the charges, Iben said, “Anyone who has followed me as commentator and op-ed writer for at least the last ten years or more, will know that I have criticized European leaders consistently for their abandonment of Europe’s Christian roots and culture.
“I really don’t need to the call the Kremlin to teach that perspective,” she continues. “I learned it from living as a Christian in Europe. My writing is about the need to rebuild the Christian culture to save our civilization. That such a Christian message is now seen as a threat to European democracy, is actually very thought-provoking.”
For a more complete response to the allegation, read this.
According to Iben, there is a deep spiritual crisis in Europe and the United States. Society has become “void of any kind of fundamental values.” In fact, morals and morality have been turned completely upside down. “It means that we are actually having a kind of mercy towards people who want to do evil to our society, and we are very angry with people who tell the truth.”
This means that “good has been turned into something bad or evil and evil has become good.” She added that “you see it with the LGBT agenda and transgenderism and also opening up the borders to destroy any national security.”
Part of the problem is cultural Marxism, within Western society. “I see, even within the Christian circles that I’m in, how people have become influenced by this idea that to be a Christian you need to love the stranger, you need to love the foreigner, you need to love other people from other parts of the world — but not yourself. Not your own culture.” Christians can’t speak up against it because they will be labeled racist or worse. They could also lose their jobs.
“If you speak out against homosexuals, that’s very, very dangerous because you could lose everything you have, even friends. If you speak out against immigration, that’s the same thing. She added:
First of all, what’s happening is that you will get marginalized, you will get socially marginalized, you will get persecuted on a psychological level, it’s already happening. And then they will start to criminalize your opinions, you know, like you can’t say that you are against same-sex marriages, you can’t say things like that. Then you are regarded as somebody who’s close to being a criminal. And maybe the next step is some kind of imprisonment. I don’t know and I don’t hope so. But it doesn’t look good for the time being because it’s very hard to be a traditional conservative Christian.
Marxism was once about sharing, economics and how to distribute goods, but now it is about something entirely different. “This time it’s about identity politics,” like the LGBT and transgender movements. It appears tolerant and loving, but it’s anything but. “It is a completely anti-Christian system,” said Iben. “And the most diabolical part of it is that we’re using Christianity to welcome this. [We say] if we were good Christians we’d of course be open to Muslims and to people from abroad and we should see ourselves as someone who has been suppressing the people for a long time. You know, this kind of self-hatred that even [Pope Emeritus] Benedict XVI talked about — that we hate our own culture.”
Even Christians have been in conflict over these issues because the cultural Marxist ideology has “infiltrated” the Church.
Although society promotes values that are in opposition to Christianity, some in the Church will call it Christian. Iben says it’s a tragedy. “We are using some sort of politicized Christianity to break down the Christian culture.”
Italy’s prime minister held a meeting in Milan recently. A Catholic, Matteo Salvini invoked the saints and the patrons of Europe and consecrated himself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in an effort to fight against Islam. Because of immigration, he’s concerned that Europe will turn into a caliphate within a few decades. “He knows that to win this fight he needs to have a Christian foundation.” Surprisingly, an Italian bishop called Salvini’s actions “unchristian,” and said the prime minister should not get a papal blessing.
Further, the pope has encouraged people to embrace migration and view Muslims as brothers and sisters. “And of course they are, because they are human beings. But if you are a Christian, you are obliged to say no to Islam because it is an anti-Christian spirituality,” said Iben.
“I think it’s too superficial and it’s very worrisome that an Italian politician who wants to consecrate himself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary — to do something good for Europe — is actually being called unchristian. It says something about the problems here in Europe that we are in a huge conflict within ourselves. We’re sort of attacking our own roots. I don’t really think anything good can really come out of that.”
The Real Issue: Spiritual Warfare
Of course cultural Marxism, identity politics and immigration aren’t the problem. We are in a spiritual war, said Iben.
“I don’t think it’s possible to understand what’s going on today on the political scene if you don’t understand spirituality and these dominions that are unseen, like Saint Paul writes about. That we’re not fighting against flesh and blood but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. And I think they’re very much at work today.”
A few years ago, Iben attended a seminar on exorcism in the pontifical university, Regina Apostolorum, in Rome. The exorcists in attendance spoke of the great need for their services in Europe and the West. “There is a high demand everywhere in the Western world because more and more people are getting oppressed. We’re very vulnerable to getting attacked by evil forces because we’re not sheltered by the faith and by prayer and by going to church and all these things.”
Opening Dark Doors Unawares
Most people don’t even know what they are doing when they open the doors to demonic attack. “So, for instance, if you are playing with evil forces, of course they never come to you and present themselves as evil forces. They come in the disguise of something that is beautiful and looks really great and, you know, light.” She added, “I think it’s getting more and more aggressive … because nobody’s aware of it [and] because we don’t have the Christian spirituality to discern these spiritual forces.”
This spiritual warfare — particularly when people have turned their backs on God — weakens the Christian culture. “Then suddenly we have this new, self-confident, religion called Islam, which is very, very clear about what is right and wrong because everything is in the Koran. And they’re very focused on what is the meaning of life and they are ready to die for it.”
An Empty House
“Europe is an empty house like Jesus talks about, where there is a demon that has been cast out. And then, because the house is empty, it returns with another seven spirits and it becomes even worse.” In this case, with weak Christians and rampant cultural Marxism, Christianity as perceived in the West simply doesn’t offer the promises of Islam. “I think this is the situation of Europe, is that Islam is just filling up the void. It means that we are an empty house, so Islam is moving in and taking over. And it has always happened in history, that when one religion vanishes or the people stop believing in it, then another religion will take over. And this is what’s happening right now in Europe.”
Iben interviewed the former Dutch right-wing politician Joram van Klaveren recently. While he has written a very critical book on Islam, he — very surprisingly — decided to become Muslim. Why? “He told me that he did this because he was losing his Christian faith. He was longing for something spiritual because Europe was so secularized.” She continued, “This is the big problem. If we don’t have a Christian counterculture to defeat the two evils [secularism and Islam) — it’s not looking good for Europe.”
What Can Christians Do?
“I think we should, of course, pray for a revival of the faith and ask for protection against evil. Evil is real and it’s working among us for the time being. We should also ask for the courage to speak the truth because truth is the first victim in every totalitarian society. And this is what we are facing now — we’re not able to tell the truth anymore and few have the courage to speak it. Pray for the discernment to know what is the truth and then the courage to speak the truth, wherever it takes you.”
We also need to evangelize, telling others about Christ and building the Kingdom. We should never lose hope, she said, because God is real and gives us strength to fight this battle. “And we know, if we have faith, that there will be a resurrection. So this evil is not the end, but it’s a very hard time to go through.”
Nancy Flory is an Associate Editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.