We’re playing telephone today: we got a link from the Cheapertising blog who highlighted the Get Religion blog who covered a story from the Telegraph. It takes a timely look at the season of Lent in the Netherlands, and a current re-branding that’s under way. I’ll quote:
“Dutch Catholics have re-branded the Lent fast as the ‘Christian Ramadan’ in an attempt to appeal to young people who are more likely to know about Islam than Christianity.”
As the season of Lent has become less important for the Dutch over the past years, they feel something must be done. Martin Van der Kull, director of Vastenaktie, a Catholic charity, had this to say:
“The image of the Catholic Lent must be polished. The fact that we use a Muslim term is related to the fact that Ramadan is a better-known concept among young people than Lent.”
Defining a Christian event in Muslim terms is a foreign concept, especially here in Protestant America. But thinking deeper, is it really so bad to explain Lent as a “Christian Ramadan?” It seems like at least a good way to communicate what happens during Lent to a non-Christian listener. Either way, it’s sure an interesting way to market your church in a Muslim location, and it keeps with our international theme of late.