Netherlands was conquered by Rome in the first century A.D., but Germanic tribes drove out the Romans in the fifth century. France gained control of the Netherlands in the 1300s, and Spain took over 200 years later. In the 1600s Dutch (people from the Netherlands) explorers sailed to Java and South Africa, claiming much land as colonies. Netherlands was reclaimed for France under Napoleon, but after his defeat it became a sovereign nation. Belgium was originally part of the Netherlands but seceded in 1830, leaving the country’s borders as they are today. During World War II the Nazis occupied the Netherlands, and after the war the country rebuilt its industries and cities and today is an economic success story. Two islands in the Atlantic are also part of the Netherlands: Antilles and Aruba.
Pentecost first came to the Netherlands in 1906, when Gerrit Polman, an evangelical pastor in Amsterdam, the capital, heard about outpourings of the Holy Spirit occurring in neighboring countries. He and his congregation earnestly prayed for Pentecost to come to the Netherlands, and it did. The gospel message spread across the nation, and a Bible school and large church called Immanuel Hall were established by 1912. During the Nazi occupation believers suffered greatly, and Assemblies of God congregations in the United States helped as much as they could. After the war shipments of food and clothing were sent to the impoverished church in the Netherlands. In 1952 several Dutch Pentecostal congregations joined to form the Brotherhood of Full Gospel Assemblies. Seven years later the government recognized this body as the Brotherhood of Pentecostal Assemblies.
The Movement Today
In February 2002 the Brotherhood of Pentecostal Assemblies and the Full Gospel Church merged to form the Assemblies of God of the Netherlands. Teen Challenge outreach centers are touching lives every day. American Assemblies of God missionaries are integrated into the national church and work closely with its leadership in their three strategic initiatives: church planting, church development, and leadership development.
Additional Facts About the Netherlands
Area: 16,039 square miles
Population: 17 million
Urbanization: 91.5 percent
Government: Parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Agriculture: vegetables, ornamentals, dairy, poultry and livestock products; propagation materials
Industry: agroindustries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing