Portugal — A European mission field

Last year underdogs Portugal stunned the world when it triumphed over hosts France in the Euro 2016 football final.

All over Portugal fans celebrated the unlikely victory which was secured in extra time. Just 25 minutes into the game their their captain, and three times world player of the year, Christiano Ronaldo was stretchered off in tears.

While Portugal basks in its sporting success, all is not well spiritually. Evangelicals make us less than one half of one percent of the Portuguese population. 

Highlights from a new report:

  • There are about 47,000 evangelical believers In Portugal, just 0.4% of the population. The average size of an evangelical church is 49 people.
  • On average each church baptises five people per year. New churches account for 40% of baptisms.
  • Between 2000—2016 the number of evangelical churches fell by 666 (1,630 to 964) despite the planting of 322 new churches.
  • Almost seven in ten evangelical Christians live in three cities: Lisbon (15,300 church members), Porto (6,400) and Setúbal (4,200).
  • Most churches do not have any involvement in cross-cultural missions.

It would be interesting to know what role Brazilians and other Portuguese-speaking immigrants, have in the volatility in the number of churches. I'd also like to know which existing churches are reaching new people and planting churches. There have to be exceptions to the trend.

Meanwhile, Portugal at 0.4% evangelical believers is more of a mission field that China.