In one Prague congregation of the Evangelical Brethren, there was a public lecture on Christianity and its relationship to society. In the ensuing discussion, the speaker asked (rhetorically): “Is Christianity useless, untrue or boring?” The listeners laughed. One young person, who had been evidently bored the whole time, whispered to his neighbour, though underestimating how far his voice could be heard by everyone: “No, it’s embarrassing.” The whole room felt like laughing to break the tension.
At one public event organised by Christians in Prague, eloquently entitled “March for Jesus”, the gathered crowds of believers brought multicoloured flags and banners. On one banner, the words were written in large letters “Jesus is the answer!” The owner of the banner had a large sticker with the same phrase on his car, parked at a distance. When he returned to his car after the event had finished, after the words “Jesus is the answer!” someone had written in felt-tip pen: “But what is the question?”
At one junior school, an evangelical vicar asked the children who they thought Christ was. Most of the children knew that the expressions “Christ” or “Jesus and Mary” were used when something annoys or surprises us. Several of the children genuinely thought that Jesus was an extraterrestrial who visited Planet Earth some time ago. One girl thought that it was the make of a mobile telephone (she had heard the commercial saying “Go Jesus go”). One pupil in year one wrote on his questionnaire that Jesus is another name for a Christmas tree.
Jakub T. remembers how when studying at grammar school in the nineties, he was tested in biology (on a podium in front of the entire class). He had just begun to take a serious interest in Christianity and was preparing to be baptised. His teacher, an educated man who still teaches at the same school, was testing him on a topic which related to the prehistory of the universe and the origin of life. Because the teacher liked Jakub and was friends with his father (though knew nothing of Jakub’s spiritual quest), after Jakub had correctly answered all the questions regarding the origin of the universe and life, he said in a friendly and familiar way: “And just imagine, Jakub, that you can still find people who believe in a God that created the universe.” Jakub still remembers the discomfort and shame he felt when, at that time, along with the rest of the class, he submissively shook his head and chuckled over the foolishness and naivety of people who still believe in God.