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Country of the Week: Netherlands

Good Morning “People of Vision”,
As our Pastor is preparing to leave for Chile I wanted to give you a few prayer requests that pertain to what our church is doing in the mission of God. Mark Coffey is leading a team of people to Bolivia and Peru this week. Tony Howeth will be returning from Bolivia tomorrow. The Pearson family are checking in on our missionaries in Argentina.

Here is your “mission if you are willing to accept it” (It is our mission even if we don’t accept it)
We should pray for them as they travel. Pray for safety, that they will return with a good report, and that they will be an encouragement to our missionaries. Also, let’s be faithful in praying for our country of the week; The Netherlands. (Below I have posted some info. to help you get a better understanding of this country)

Considered by many as an “Experimental Garden of Religiosity”

The Netherlands’ name reflects its low-lying topography, with more than a quarter of its total area under sea level.
Now a constitutional monarchy, the country began its independent life as a republic in the 16th century, when the foundations were laid for it to become one of the world’s foremost maritime trading nations.

The Netherlands has produced many of the world’s most famous artists from Rembrandt and Vermeer in the 17th century to Van Gogh in the 19th and Mondrian in the 20th. It attracts visitors from across the globe.

Amsterdam: Much of the city lies at, or below, sea level
After a longstanding policy of neutrality between Europe’s great powers, the bitter experience of invasion and occupation during World War II led the Netherlands to become a leading supporter of international cooperation.
Almost 20% of the total area of the Netherlands is water, and much of the land has been reclaimed from the North Sea in efforts which date back to medieval times and have spawned an extensive system of dykes.

It is one of the world’s most densely populated nations. As in many European countries, over-65s make up an increasing percentage of that population, leading to greater demands on the welfare system.

After two decades of strong growth and low unemployment, the economy ran into more troubled waters as global trade, in which the Netherlands is a major player, slowed in the early years of the new millennium.

There was concern that Dutch society’s longstanding tradition of tolerance was under threat when homosexual anti-immigration politician Pim Fortuyn was assassinated in 2002.
Anxiety over increased racial tension has intensified further since the murder in 2004 of Theo Van Gogh who had made a controversial film on the position of women in Islamic society. A violent extremist later confessed and was jailed for life.

After Mr Van Gogh’s killing, the government hardened its line on immigration and failed asylum seekers.

The Netherlands have about 16 million inhabitants. The percentage of members of the Roman Catholic Church is estimated at 31 %. The “Protestant Church in the Netherlands”, which exists since May 2004, is the largest Protestant church in the Netherlands in terms of membership. 21 % of the population belongs to this union of three former churches, including the Netherlands Reformed Church, the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Then there are some adherents of Islam and Hinduism. The number of followers of Islam with various national backgrounds was estimated at 886,000, the Hindu population was estimated at about 95,000.
Quick Facts:
Full name: The Kingdom of the Netherlands
Population: 16.4 million (UN, 2007)
Capital: Amsterdam; seat of government: the Hague
Area: 41,864 sq km (16,164 sq miles)
Major language: Dutch
Major religion: Christianity
Life expectancy: 78 years (men), 82 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: 1 euro = 100 cents
Main exports: Metal manufacturing, chemicals, foodstuffs
GNI per capita: US $36,620 (World Bank, 2006)

Here are a couple links that will take you to news publications of the Netherlands.
The press
Algemeen Dagblad – national, daily – national, daily