June 13, 2014

European Tithe Grows Despite Economic Turmoil

Seventh-day Adventists across the 20 countries of Europe comprising the
church’s Inter-European Division are giving more in tithe, but about 40 percent
of them do not attend worship services regularly, a challenge that Adventist
leaders pledged to tackle.

Tithe returned in 2013 totaled 100 million euros ($135 million), an amount similar
to 2012, leaders of the Inter-European Division heard at an Executive Committee
spring session held at Villa Aurora Adventist University in Florence, Italy.

declined significantly in economically troubled countries like Spain and
Portugal, where tithe has dropped about 20 percent over the past five years,
division treasurer Norbert Zens said in comments published on the division’s
website on Wednesday.

means that an increase in tithing in other parts of the division, which
stretches from the Czech Republic and Bulgaria in the east to France and
Portugal in the west, helped stabilize the overall figure, Zens said. For
example, tithe given by Adventists in France, Belgium and Luxembourg has
increased by nearly 30 percent in five years.

is especially significant is that most of the growth is from an increase in tithe
given by each church member, Zens said.

are thankful to God that He continues to bless our church members in a special
way so that they continue donating in order to spread the good news of the
salvation we find in Christ and His soon return,” Zens told the May 25-27

<strong>ITALIAN UNIVERSITY:</strong> A view of Villa Aurora Adventist University in Florence, Italy, where the division meetings were held. Photo credit: Villa Aurora Adventist University

Maurer, the division’s executive secretary, presented the meeting with a first
report, although incomplete, on the percentage of church members who regularly
attend services. Early indications put the figure at 60 percent.

have to seriously consider this trend, setting up a strategy to help our
members to be more consistent in their participation,” Maurer said.

the division saw 3,710 baptisms in 2013. Deducting losses for death, drop-outs
and missing members, net growth amounted to 325 people, and the division’s
overall membership increased to 178,199.

ahead, David Jennah, president of the French-Italian Swiss Conference, said his
conference was preparing a major evangelistic endeavor in Geneva under the
auspices of the world church’s “Mission to the Cities” initiative. He said a
new church called VIVO has been working on the “Big City Geneva” project since

Popa, the division’s new media director, said the division should find a way to
join in Europe-wide celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s
reformation in 2017.

our church comes from this Protestant background, we should consider a
contribution to this special celebration highlighting the message of justification
by faith,” he said.

Inter-European Division is based in Bern, Switzerland, and consists of 2,525
churches and 580 congregations with 178,199 baptized members.

Contact Adventist
Review news editor Andrew McChesney at [email protected]. Twitter:


Inter-European Division report on spring session

VIVO church in Geneva's Facebook page

Mission to the Cities