There's a verse going round and round in my head at the moment, that I learnt in French in a Beach Mission in Belgium a few years ago: "(John 8:36) Si le Fils vous affranchit, vous serez réellement libres." I don't know why it came to mind. But while it's been in my head, I've been thinking about it. We have in Brussels 2 'Free' Universities - the Université Libre de Bruxelles, and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel - set up in reaction to the monopoly of the RC church on education. They pride themselves on secularity and a secular, 'free thinking' approach. When this touches on religion, in class they study it 'scientifically, objectively' (as if this can be so), and out of class, it's effectively banned - to have Christian meetings on campus, or advertised on campus, would endanger the freedom of the students it seems! In establishing freedom from the imposition of Catholicism, they have rather established the imposition of the faith-system of secularity.
Yet in this sad and difficult context, God is answering prayer. At the VUB, through a Dutch-speaking team member's contact with a Christian in the International office, we've been given permission to flyer for our International 'Open House' events, since the events aren't intrinsically evangelistic, but social (apart from the Christmas one which states clearly on the flyer). We hope to get to know the students at these meetings and offer Bible studies outside of them to those who are interested. When giving out these flyers, our Team Leader Tim got chatting to a member of staff having a cigarette break, who asked, "You know this is a free university?" to which Tim replied, "Yes, we've been given permission to give these out." The guy thought for a second and replied, "Well yes, it is a free university, not an atheist university." That someone would think that at one of these uni's is a miracle in answer to prayer! Praise God :-)
We went to a public lecture put on by the "Centre Interdisciplinaire d'Etude des Religions et de la Laïcité" (laïcité is the philosophy of secularity). They are convinced that secularity is the answer to everything. Convinced that they can have freedom in their thinking. My prayer is that through the power of the gospel in the lives and words of GBU members, some would realise that it is only if the Son sets you free that you shall be truly free.