A church in Estonia, one of the most secular countries on earth, recognizes the foundational nature of the battle—and starts doing something about it.

According to a 2009 survey, only 14% of Estonians think religion is important.1 This makes Estonia one of the most secular nations in the world. 2 Although originally from Finland, Esa Luukkala is pastor of the Äksi church,3 an evangelical Lutheran congregation on the shores of Lake Saadjärv in Tartu, Estonia. He notes: “Matters of faith hardly interest people, and most have a very materialistic worldview … Years under the Soviet regime’s atheistic ideology have made most Estonians think of churches like museums, places just for contemplating the past. Most people in Estonia think Christianity has no relevance for modern people, and most don’t know even the basics of Christianity.”

The Äksi congregation deliberated how to reach people with such a materialistic worldview; what could engage them, and open the door for the Gospel? The approach chosen was a Creation Display, suggested by a church member who said he had personally witnessed “the great destruction wrought in the lives of youngsters by the Darwinian evolution theory taught at school”. When Estonia was a part of the Soviet empire, evolution was actively used to foster atheism/materialism as the foundation of the state-sanctioned Marxist ideology.
“A Creation Display lets us present to young and old alike how nature shows that God is behind it all,” says Pastor Esa. “And it can present scientific facts showing how the Bible accounts such as Creation, Fall and Flood are reliable, and are real history.”
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