Just to make certain, I checked to see if freedom of religion is
guaranteed in the European Unions charter. I was happy to find that
Article 10: states, Everyone has the right to freedom of thought,
conscience and religion. This right includes freedom to change
religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with
others and in public or in private, to manifest religion or belief in
worship, teaching, practice and observance."
Draft Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union
Given that starting a church in Europe is a fundamental right, your
client should keep in mind that the actual practices of peoples and
governments do not always live up to such ideals. He should read the
articles from THE STATUS OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY FOR MINORITY FAITHS IN
EUROPE AND THE OSCE (DECEMBER 5, 1997) Commission on Security and
Cooperation in Europe, Washington, DC.
This article is several years old. But, I think that it is worth
noting. While religious freedom is considered an important right in
European countries, it is important to know what is actually going on.
These speakers address reality of subtle, but growing undercurrents
of discrimination and harassment of minority religious believers
around Europe. Some of the countries discussed are the ones in which
your client is interesting.
I do not know where your client presently is located, but the results
of this conference suggest several things in order to reduce
persecution from these European governments. The first suggestion is
that the new church should be careful not to impose an American
church-state model in countries of Central and Eastern Europe. There
is a cultural sensitivity and paranoia when such a church model is
created as many of the locals feel that it clashes with the history,
culture, and theological perspective of the local population.
The second suggestion is to not demonstrate a wealthy western image.
I does not sound as if your client is backed by a large organization.
But, if is best to have a small, individual church than a large,
representative of a wealthy western church.
Your client should learn the applicable laws of incorporation and
ownership of property in whichever country he is interested in. These
are not obstacles as much as details that are important. He should
set up his church along the local laws. He should also be aware of
the population of the neighborhood. He is likely to run into fewer
problems if he is able to physically locate in a neighborhood that is
friendly to his purpose. Outreach will be easier and cheaper if the
physical church is located amongst his potential members. There will
also be fewer problems of prejudice if the neighborhood is friendly to
his churches intent. It is easier to get your ideas across if you are
culturally relevant to the surrounding community
Organization begins with your clients vision. What is the purpose of
his church? Presumably, it is to preach. If that is the case, he can
begin his preaching anywhere, depending on the local laws and local
tolerance. As he gathers support, he can also gather resources. A
physical church location is a good place for worshipers to gather. At
that point, he may consider the other resources he wants for his
church; shelter, education, warm meals?. These plans must all get
incorporated into his long term vision.
There is a practical guide that he can buy that contains practical
details of starting a church written by a minister of 12 years. It is
a resource that addresses most of the practical aspects of starting a
church from outreach to ritual. It is likely to be very helpful for
How to Start a Church
Here is another step by step guide to forming a church.
BUILDING A CHURCH, NOT A BUILDING MINISTERS' GUIDE TO ESTABLISHING A
NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
Here is the story of a fellow who started a church in Nigeria.
Start a Church Nigerian Style
I found the presence of Christian organizations who encourage the
starting of Christian churches through Europe. Some give more helpful
details than others. Some are promoting a certain denomination,
others are not. But, most have helpful resources and a network of
organizations that would be useful to your client.
Greater European Mission is a group that encourages individuals to
start Christian Churches around Europe. They offer a variety of
Christian Associates across Europe.
Churches Starting Churches
Church Planting Resources
International Movement We Are Church / European Network
starting church in europe
law start church europe
EU law start chuch
I hope this helps.
Google Answers Researcher