Flemish culture and customs

Belgium has possibly the highest “quality of life” in the world, as testified by its excellent food, housing, health care, education and infrastructure, its world records for high productivity and low poverty, and the appreciation of foreigners residing in Belgium. The Vlaanderen (Flemish) region of Belgium has a higher per capita income than the Wallonian region. The estimated Flemish population is 6,027,491 (July 2007, source CIA world facts). Most Belgians tend to view their culture as an integral part of European culture or Western culture; nevertheless, both main communities tend to make their thousands of individual and collective cultural choices mainly from within their own community. The Flemish borrow liberally from the English-speaking culture. British and American television programs and films are usually shown in English with Dutch subtitles. By comparison, in French-speaking Wallonia, many of these have French voice-overs dubbed into the presentation. There are some sociological and political implications to the three official languages in Belgium: Dutch/Flemish; French; German. (English is becoming a widely spoken language especially in the Flemish region. English is now second to French in the Brussels region.) The language differences translate into regional and cultural differences.

Belgium has three major regions. Flanders (north) and Wallonia (south – there are two small regions in Wallonia where the official language is German). Brussels is the third region. It is divided into 11 communes and does not have a regional government. The national and Flemish governments are headquartered in Brussels. The Wallonian government is headquartered in Charleroi. Dutch and French tend to divide the country culturally, linguistically and governmentally. The median age for a Belgian is 40.9 years. The age structure is: 0-14 years: 16.7%; 15-64 years: 65.9%; 65 years and over: 17.4%. Life expectancy at birth is 78.77 years.

Population statistics for East Vlaanderen and Gent:

East Vlaanderen: Gent:

1984 1,331,193 1984 235,401

2001 1,361,623 2001 224,180

2007 1,398,253 2007 235,143

2008 1,408,484 2008 237,250

Gent has a current population growth rate of about 5% per year. The population density for East Vlaanderen is 1,506 persons per square kilometer. Governmental Structure: The Federal Government: The executive branch of government consists of ministers and junior ministers drawn from the political parties which form a coalition government. Formally, the ministers are appointed by the King. The number of ministers is limited to 15, 7 at least from each of the two main communities, and they have no seat in Parliament. The Cabinet is chaired by the Prime Minister. Ministers head executive departments of the government. The Prime Minister and his ministers administer the government and the various public services and the ministers must defend their policies and performance in person before the Chamber. The federal government must have the confidence of the Chamber of Representatives. It is led by the Prime Minister. The King or Queen is the head of state, though he has limited prerogatives. Actual power is vested in the Prime Minister and the different governments, who govern the country.

Regional and community governments: The regional and community councils and governments have jurisdiction over transportation, public works, water policy, cultural matters, education, public health, environment, housing, zoning, and economic and industrial policy. They rely on a system of revenue-sharing for funds. They have the authority to levy a very few taxes (mostly surcharges) and to contract loans. Moreover, they have obtained exclusive treaty-making power for those issues coming under their respective jurisdictions. Of total public spending (interest payments not considered), more than 30% is authorized by the regions and communities, although their financing comes for over 80% from national Belgian budgets; at the same time, the national government controls 100% of social security, and strictly limits the taxation policy by the federalized entities. As a result, Belgian institutions still control over 90% of the effective, global taxation levels on individuals and companies.

The Flemish parties generally favor much larger community (and regional) autonomy, including financial and tax autonomy, while the Francophone parties generally oppose it. The Flemish parties generally favor a modern and efficiently working state, whereas the French-speaking parties tend to favor more state control. The new government had decided that these matters would not be discussed until after the federal elections of 2007. As of the end of December 2007, a new federal government has not been formed. The outgoing government was given emergency powers to form a budget for 2008. Therefore, a hot-button issue for forming the new coalition government is which point of view will be held by the majority consensus. As of this writing, that is still under debate. Provincial and local government: In addition to three regions and three cultural communities, Belgium is also divided into 10 provinces plus Brussels, and 589 municipalities. Provincial and local government is an exclusive competency of the regions. In the Brussels region, there is another form of intermediate government, constituted by institutions from each of the two competent communities. Those institutions (COCOF for the French-speakers and VGC for the Flemings) have similar competencies, although only COCOF has legislative powers.

Political Parties: The political makeup of the Belgian system is confusing to outsiders. Since there is not been a government formed since the June 2007 elections, it may be confusing to Belgians as well. One thing that seems to be coming from the election is a national desire to remain unified as one country although there are active separatist movements in both linguistic regions.

Obligations:

Voting: Belgium has the oldest existing compulsory voting system, introduced in 1892 for men and 1949 for women. People aged 18 and over who do not vote face a moderate fine or, if they fail to vote in at least four elections, they can lose the right to vote for 10 years. Non-voters also face difficulties getting a job in the public sector.

Education: Education in Belgium is regulated and financed by one of the three communities. All the three communities have a unified school system similar to the United States school system, with small differences between the different communities. The schools can be divided in three groups:1. Schools owned by the communities (Onderwijs in Vlaanderen; Réseau in Wallonia)2. Subsidized public schools, organized by provinces and municipalities 3. Subsidized free schools, mainly organized by an organization affiliated to the Catholic church. This is the largest group, both in number of schools and in number of pupils. Education in Belgium is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 18. Private home education is possible, and the numbers are rising slowly. For the year 2005—2006 the number of home schooled children in Flanders rose to 580 out of a total of 1 million. The Flemish school system is widely recognized in Western Europe for the quality of education. The Catholic University at Leuven is one of the oldest in Europe. Erasmus studied there. The university at Gent is not as old but now has almost the same number of students. Many students from Europe, Africa and Asia come to Belgium to get a college education. Some Belgian students choose to study in America for the perceived employment opportunity that comes with an American college education.

Military Service: Military service is not compulsory. The Belgian Armed Forces have about 41,000 active troops. They are organized into one unified structure which consists of four main components: Army (Land); Air Force (Air); Navy (Water); and Medical. The average age of a soldier in the Belgian armed forces is 40, one of the highest in the world.

Internationals in Belgium Over 900,000 people are foreign nationals in Belgium. This is some 8.5 of the total population. There are over 175,000 Italians in Belgium. Their share in the total number of foreigners has fallen slightly. French nationals make up the second largest group followed by people from the Netherlands. There are some 25,000 British nationals in Belgium, over 11,000 Americans. Moroccans and Turks form the largest groups of non EU citizens in Belgium. There are some 80,000 Moroccan nationals and nearly 40,000 Turks. The Congolese community (13,000) is Belgium’s third largest group of non EU nationals. The figures dating from 2005 show a big surge in the number of Romanians and Russians – up around 35%. (Belga) A shifting picture In the 1990’s some 9% of Belgium’s population consisted of foreign nationals. Since 1995 the number of foreign nationals in Belgium has been falling reaching a low of 8.21% in 2001. Since then figures have once again been on the rise. The decrease coincided with a relaxation of the procedure foreign nations need to undergo in order to acquire Belgian nationality. In addition the Belgian authorities encouraged foreign nationals living here to apply for Belgian citizenship. At the beginning of the new millennium Belgium also introduced an amnesty for foreigners living here illegally.

Regional variations The largest number of foreigners, 314,000, live in Flanders. Brussels has the largest share of foreigners in the population as a whole: 27%. In 2005 20,502 people applied for asylum here. Belgium is the sixth most popular place to request asylum in the EU. In the world as a whole Belgium ranks eighth. The Flemish Culture Vlaanderen (Home of the Flemish) Flemish Regions: Antwerpen, East Vlaanderen, West Vlaanderen, Flemish Brabant and Limburg What they value: On average, Flemings have a greater respect for authority than most Dutch, English and Nordic peoples, although Belgians in general have little confidence in political authorities. In terms of intellectual communication, Flemings appear more Anglo-Saxon again, preferring a down-to-earth, factual style.The somewhat more confrontational nature of Flemish politics is probably related to the fact that until the 1960s Belgium’s Flemings were oppressively discriminated against by the official Belgian institutions dominated by the French-speaking Walloon minority.

Belgians are said to “be born with a brick in their stomach.” This means they have a significant desire to create a permanent home. Many young adults will not get married until they can provide a place of residence outside the familial home. Homes are very sacred places and only family, close friends or special guests may be invited to visit. Often friends will visit in a café rather than in a home. Familial relationships are important to the Flemish. Making frequent visits to extended family members is not uncommon. However the sanctity of marriage is not as high as it once was. It is not unusual for Flemish to live with a “partner” rather than spouse. Many Belgians feel no need for official or formal marriages and choose to just live with a life partner. Belgium was one of the first European countries to officially recognize same-sex unions.

However, Flemings do marry. Fidelity in a relationship is still considered appropriate but divorce is not considered significant. Most marriage ceremonies are civil events. A church marriage (unless performed by someone recognized by the government and permitted to do weddings) has to also have a civil ceremony to be official. Only a few Belgians are married in churches or in any form of religious ceremony. The weddings are simple, only a few people at City Hall and the receptions are the major social events. The attitudes and trends in marriage mirror the statistics in much of Europe. The majority of European countries are reporting a fall in the number of marriages since 2000. In 2002, 44% of Belgium marriages ended in divorce. The average age at which people first marry is also increasing. In 2001, the average age for women was 28.4 years and 30.6 years for men. This was nearly five years older for women and over four years older for men than in 1971.

Drinking is socially acceptable and even teens drink. Beer used to be the most common alcoholic beverage in Belgium, but now as many people prefer wine as those who prefer beer. Alcohol is readily available and seen as a natural part of meals and social events. However drunkenness is not socially acceptable and even seen as offensive to most Belgians. Smoking is common but very expensive. Belgian law (as of January 2007) creates smoke-free public buildings. This has begun to change some attitudes toward smoking and smokers. Public touching (or even greetings of strangers) is very uncommon. Often Flemish people will look down or away to avoid making eye contact when passing a stranger. A pat on the back or touch on the arm is not common. Female friends may hold hands or link arms as they walk in public. Partners or spouses may also hold hands in public. Flemish personal space is closer than American personal space and people will pack into public transport and bump into rather than walk around you. Knocking on the door of a stranger is considered inappropriate. Talking loudly in public is also seen as in appropriate. The Flemish are very private people and consider questions outside of directions, time, general public information or the weather as an invasion of privacy.

How they communicate: Dutch, also called Nederlands or Vlaams (not the same as West Vlaams – see below), is the official language of Vlaanderen. Estimates are that over 4.6 million Flemings speak standard Dutch. The residents of provinces of West Vlaanderen, Oost Vlaanderen, Antwerpen, Limburg, Vlaams-Brabant, and the bilingual part (10% to 20%) of Brussels speak Dutch. For the last thirty years the Flemish government has made a concentrated effort to minimize the speaking of dialects and to increase the percentage of the population that speaks standard Dutch. As a result, most median adults and younger have studied Dutch in school and may only speak a dialect version at home or with elders. Another portion of the Flemish population speaks West Vlaams (West Vlaanderen dialect). Estimates are that almost 1.1 million people speak West Vlaams (Source: University of Gent, 1990). West Vlaams is the primary language spoken in the Province of West Flanders.

Over 99% of the Flemish population is literate. The norm in Flanders is learning two to four foreign languages. Dutch, French, German and English are obligatory in most secondary school programs. Proficiency in the English Language has greatly improved during the last half century, whereas proficiency in French and German has decreased somewhat.

The Flemish are a wired people. Over 95% of the population has access to either cable or satellite television. There are over 4.8 main telephone lines in use and almost 5.75 million mobile phones in use. The vast majority of the population has access to internet and email for world-wide communications.

The Flemish Lifestyle: The Flemish tend to stay up later and wake up later than many Americans. A normal work day for an office worker would be 8:00AM to 5:00PM. The Flemish usually eat a light breakfast and lunch with the larger meal in the evenings. Meal times in the evening may not begin until 6:00 or 7:00PM although some do eat earlier. Visiting in someone’s home is usually an evening affair and one may not be invited to attend until 8:00PM. Belgium is widely known for chocolate, beer, frites (French fries) and witloof (a widely cultivated herb with leaves valued as salad green; also known as endive having leaves with irregular frilled edges). Meat is expensive and portions tend to be small. Chicken would be most typical followed by rabbit and pork. Fish, once rather economical, has become expensive. Most foods are prepared individually. There are some stews and soups but casseroles are not common. Many Flemings will not try any food unless they can recognize the major ingredients. Potatoes are staples at many meals. Salads are also quite popular. Belgian cuisine has been described as French quality with German quantity. Flemings are also connoisseurs of wine, beer and chocolate.

The dress for most Flemings is very similar to American dress. However clothes tend to be darker in color and tighter fitting. Low cut dresses and short skirts are not uncommon. You can see the navel of many teenage girls even in the dead of winter. Blue jeans and athletic shoes are not uncommon sights although girls tend not to wear standard athletic shoe with jeans. Since it rains frequently, the Flemish usually have a raincoat or umbrella handy. Neck scarves are worn from early fall to late spring to ward off the cold. However, gloves and hats seem to be worn on only the coldest of days.

Although the Flemish people usually do not speak to strangers on the street, they are polite. In a formal greeting people may call others meneer (sir) or mevrouw (madam) there is no form for miss [juffrouw]. A typical quick, passing greeting would be “dag” for good day. Good morning, afternoon, or evening would be for longer greetings. For a recognized person, a handshake may be appropriate. For friends an air kiss on the cheek is appropriate. For good friends three air kisses is customary. Not many people hug others and there is very little public physical contact (except for teenagers who are being romantic). Holding hands of children or elders is also not unusual. Goodbye is “dag” to “tot _____ (until some time word)”.

Functioning in Flanders:

Public transportation includes buses, trams, trains, bicycles and taxis. Many people use the first four. Taxis are very expensive. Only 60% of Belgians own an auto so public transportation is very popular. Autos have priority right unless otherwise marked. Public transport (on rails) has priority. Buses have priority when leaving bus stops. Pedestrians in marked cross walks have priority. Bicyclists think they are king of the road and have priority only in marked bike lanes. Otherwise they have to obey regular traffic laws.

Some shops open early but most do not open before 9:00 or 10:00AM and close by 6:00 or 7:00PM. The larger department and grocery type stores may be open earlier and later. It is not uncommon for smaller shops to close for one to one and a half hours for lunch. Often government offices close at lunch. Larger stores do not. There are “night shops” that are open after hours for emergency purchases. Selections tend to be limited and the items more costly. The Flemish shop often. Many do not bake so the bakery is visited several times each week. Vegetables and fruits are usually purchased fresh. There are open air markets, but many Flemish make purchases in the grocery stores because of convenience or time issues.

On time arrival is considered appropriate. One should not be early but being late is considered very rude. Appointments for banking and most professional services are quite common. Flemish would not be considered as a people who arrive early, but being late is still culturally not accepted. This is also true for personal visits in public places or in the homes of friends. When invited to someone’s home, a gift is almost always appropriate. A bottle of wine, chocolates or fresh flowers are common gifts. Flowers may either be cut flowers or a small plant. Mums are reserved for funerals and not appropriate as a hostess gift. Many Flemish will say, “You didn’t have to . . .” but they are very appreciative and may feel slighted unless you are a very good friend. In most stores merchandise prices are fixed. Belgium is a socialist economy and goods vary in price no more than 5% from place to place. There are some sales for some items and small percentage sales (10-20%) are not uncommon. January and July are the major sale months with some stores offering 50-70% discounts on selected items.

The national past time is trying to avoid paying taxes but the prices are fairly fixed and not negotiable. Discounts may be given with extra quantities and not price reductions. In the larger department stores, touching and inspecting the merchandise is customary. In the smaller shops one is not supposed to touch the merchandise. You tell the shop keeper what you want and they get one out of stock and not from the display. Displays are to be seen and not touched.

Health Care: Medical care is excellent in Belgium. Many people come from Africa and other parts of Europe for special medical procedures. The health care system is socialized but there is freedom of choice for both general practice and specialized professionals. In Belgium, sickness/disability insurance is obligatory. All residents, employed or not, must be affiliated with a mutelle (co-operative insurance company). The national health system is made up of various health funds that all basically offer the same coverage. Everyone employed by a Belgium company is obliged to join one and contributions are deducted from salary.

Relaxing in Flanders: Reading, walking, listening to music and sitting in cafes drinking are typical for adults. Teens play sports and skateboard. Football (soccer); bicycle racing; tennis; basketball; kerfball (derivation of basketball) are popular participant sports. Popular television programs are Thuis (soap opera style) Steracteur/Sterartest (Star talent contest) and Man Bijt Hond. The Flemish take vacations very seriously. They may travel to any place in Europe for vacation. Also, vacations to other parts of the world are not uncommon. Some would say that the Flemish live for vacations and go all out when they take one.

Sports: Sport is an important component of Belgian life – whether it is through direct engagement or by proxy. The most popular sports in the country are football, tennis and cycling. Despite the poor performance of the national soccer team (Red Devils) in recent years, soccer is still the favourite national sport. The relative domination of women’s tennis by Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters has ensured that the sport has a massive and loyal following. Although the glorious days of five-time Tour de France champion Eddy Merckx are a fond memory, cycling is still very popular in Belgium. Wielertoeristen – cycling hobbyists – can be seen in full racing regalia as they swoop through the countryside.

Entertainment: The cinema, theatre and other performing arts are popular pastimes in Belgium. Belgian cinema is quite a small, but regularly acclaimed, affair and people tend to look to the outside world for their viewing pleasure. All the Hollywood blockbusters and box-office hits get a viewing here, in English with/or without Dutch and French subtitles. Very little is dubbed into Dutch but most programs in Wallonia are dubbed into French. It is also easy to see films from all over the world, including the increasingly popular Spanish-language cinema, China, Japan and even Israel and Palestine. A surprising number of art-house cinemas are managing to keep their heads above water and some are even thriving. Although Belgium lacks a vibrant commercial theatre scene like London or Paris, many Belgians enjoy going to the theatre, which tends to be community-based and subsidised by the regional government. Belgium’s experimental and fringe theatre is perhaps one of the most dynamic in Europe.

Fine art: Fine art is both a popular and elitist cultural pursuit in Belgium. Belgian art covers everything from the exquisite realism of the Flemish primitives to the witty surrealism of René Magritte. There are plenty of places to see unique and priceless examples of Belgian art, including the Bozar in Brussels and museums in most large Flemish cities. For something a little more outlandish, Watou in West Flanders organises a summer arts festival in which the entire village becomes an exhibition space. The city of Aalst in East Vlaanderen is known for costumes and carnival with many street performers.

Humor: Comic strips are considered a high art form in Belgium. In fact, many Belgians are attracted to the comic and cartoon art of other countries. Belgians tend to value modesty and shun showiness, which is reflected in their humour. Belgians often laugh at themselves. Self-mockery is a common element of comedy. The Flemish seem to go more for dry, understated humour and irony. Stand-up comedy is currently all the rage in Vlaanderen, with Comedy Casino, proving a big hit.

Literature: Reading is a popular pastime in Belgium and many Belgians go to reading clubs. Being citizens of a small multicultural country, Belgians have incredibly eclectic tastes, and read literature from across Europe and other parts of the world – often in the original language. The most famous of Belgium’s contemporary writers in Dutch is Hugo Claus who is regularly a ‘bridesmaid but never a bride’ when it comes to the Nobel Prize for literature. Maurice Maeterlinck, who was born in Gent and wrote in French, actually won the Nobel Prize in 1911.

Museums: Belgium has hundreds of museums covering many parallel historical narratives: Belgium, art, war, nature, psychology and psychiatry, every town and many villages, body sculpture, the 20th century and much more. Many museums are evolving to appeal to broader audiences by becoming more interactive and entertaining. This has sparked a heated debate in the museum world of the relative merits of educating and entertaining the public.

Music: To outsiders, Belgium is forever associated with the legendary voice of Jacques Brel who died in 1978, although many do mistake him for being French. Given the relatively small size of the Belgian market, musicians often have their eyes on foreign markets. Belgian dance music is popular across Europe and many groups and singers perform in languages other than their own. Many Flemish people know and sing the most popular English language songs.

Relating to the rest of the world Belgians as a whole are socially conscious people. Belgium has a very open policy on immigration. (Currently that is causing some concern and there are segments of the people who are calling for a review or tightening of the current policies.) Americans are not always held in high regards in Europe. This holds true in Belgium. Americans are seen as wasteful, rude, arrogant, militaristic and egocentric. Flemish people are more accepting of Americans than the Wallonians. Belgium has a good relationship with the United States. Older Belgians are still grateful to America for the sacrifice of WWII. Younger Belgians are taught this history and may have visited the memorials but see America as a land of opportunity and want to go there. Others see America an overbearing bad neighbor. But most Belgians, especially the Flemish, are very helpful and not overtly opposed to the Americans they know, especially the Americans that seem to appreciate the Flemish culture, language and lifestyle. The major problem with America seems to settle around the current national government and the American tendency to try to spread democracy where it may not be currently practiced or accepted. America and American culture is not totally rejected. Some Belgians choose to live and work in America until retirement age and then return to Belgium where the retirement system provides a better living level. There are American expats and other foreign nationals who live in Belgium. Flanders may have a greater percentage than Wallonia. NATO and many American companies have their European Union headquarters in the Flemish region and therefore there are more foreign nationals than in Wallonia. More Americans live in and around Brussels than other places. Many African nationals choose to live in Brussels and Wallonia since French is more widely spoken there. Only people who speak Afrikaans find some language commonality with the Dutch of the Flemish region. Some areas limit the number of foreigners that can live in the area. Most foreigners are only limited by availability of housing and income. Foreign nationals tend to live in clusters where they can find commonality of language and other cultures.

Religion in Flanders Belgium is culturally Catholic. But the cultural Catholicism is rapidly secularizing. Although 90% would be classified as Catholic, attendance at mass has plummeted to 11% of the population, and the Church faces four major crises — declining commitment, waning influence, lack of students in seminaries and mass defections. The Protestant Church is only now recovering from the destruction of its 600 congregations by the Spanish Inquisition in the 16th Century. It has hardly grown over the past 30 years but growth of evangelical and Pentecostal groups and in the evangelical wing of the liberal United Protestant Church has helped offset the dramatic decline of the Protestant church. There has been slow but steady growth of the small evangelical groups, especially among Pentecostal denominations. The lack of Belgian—especially Flemish—Christian workers and pastors is crippling growth; only 40% of Flemish-speaking congregations have an indigenous pastor. Several Bible training institutions are helping to meet the need for indigenous workers.

The state religion is Catholicism. The major cathedrals are government owned and the Priests receive salaries from the Ministry of Justice. Forty percent of Belgians would consider themselves to be active Catholics. An active Catholic means they have been baptized in a Catholic church. Regular church attendance is mainly a practice of senior adults. Belgian Catholics use the Catholic Bible with the Deuteronical Canon. Christmas and Easter are still major religious holidays. If families are going to attend church, midnight mass on Christmas Eve would be a likely time. Also, All Saints Day (November 1) is a time of remembering deceased relatives. Many families will go to cemeteries and clean/decorate the graves of loved ones.

Often there are formal ceremonies at the local church on this day. Catholics tend to not understand non-Catholics. For them “Protestant” includes everything that is not Jewish or Muslim so Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Baptists, Pentecostals are all the same. Most Belgians are more culturally Catholic and may only have a cursory understanding of the Catholic faith. A breakdown of religious preferences follows: Catholic 75%(9 – 12% attend church regularly)41-45% Active Catholics (Baptized to be able to marry and have funeral in the church) No Active Religion Or Atheist about 10% Islam about 3.5% Greek & Russian Orthodox about 1% General Protestants (Multiple Groups about 1%) Jewish about .4% Anglican about .2% Jehovah’s Witnesses about .2% Mormons about .02% Baptists about .01% Generally, Evangelical Christians are seen with skepticism and Baptists were seen as cult until 1997. It is more culturally acceptable to be a non-practicing Catholic but less acceptable to be an Evangelical Christian. Although Islam is growing in Belgium, growth is more among immigrants. Native Belgians are not very responsive to becoming Muslim. House churches may never be seen as credible by the Flemish people. They will probably not receive government recognition either. The Flemish Philosophical Viewpoint: The truth of the world has no center only differing viewpoints. Man is the central deciding factor. There is a basic sense of pessimism. Many Flemish believe human experience and participation are superior to faith-based belief. Truth is experiential, relational and neutral. Diversity is encouraged. Truth is determined by emotions, intuition and experience in community. Many of the younger Flemings embrace some forms of spirituality and mystery.

Pragmatism is a major practice in Vlaanderen. Flemings have a high level of academic intelligence and literacy. Yet there is a lack of spiritual intelligence and literacy. Demographic Responses to Church: Senior Adults still find comfort in Catholicism; Median Adults often have rejected institutional religion; Young Adults give little to no thought or consideration to Christian spirituality. Evangelical Workers in Vlaanderen: Operation Mobilization; Belgian Evangelical Mission; British Bible Society, and Evangelical Free Church. Others: Brethren; Mennonite; Pentecostal; Lutheran; Christian Missionary Alliance; and Reformed faith traditions.