Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
July 31
Europe


click to enlarge

GEOGRAPHY

Area 25,713 sq.km. Landlocked state between Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania.

Population Ann.Gr. Density
2000 2,023,580 +0.60% 79 per sq. km.
2010 2,142,050 +0.54% 83 per sq. km.
2025 2,257,977 +0.29% 88 per sq. km.

Capital Skopje 700,000. Urbanites 59%.

PEOPLES

Ethnic populations are a sensitive, politicized issue. Many think that the minority populations are larger than the government admits.

Slavic 65.6%. Macedonian 1.15 mill.; Bosnian 55,000; Serb 38,000.

Albanian 22.9% (possibly now up to 30%).

Roma (Gypsy) 7.5% (possibly 9.5%).

Turk 4%.

Literacy 89%. Official language Macedonian, one of the southern Slavonic languages. All languages 8. Languages with Scripture 3Bi 2NT 2por 1w.i.p.

ECONOMY

One of the poorest regions of former Yugoslavia. The private sector has been growing recently. Heavily reliant on agriculture, mining and manufacturing. Unemployment close to 40%. HDI 0.746; 73rd/174. Public debt 57% of GNP. Income/person $1,100 (3.5% of USA).

POLITICS

Macedonia is subject to territorial claims by its neighbours, who contested its 1992 proclamation of independence. Politics in this multi-party democracy are fragmented along ethnic and nationalist lines. Ethnic tension grows, despite the restraint shown by both Macedonians and the large and restive Albanian minority – a large proportion of which only became residents since 1944. The Kosovo crisis (see Yugoslavia) in 1999 caused the arrival of thousands more ethnic Albanians. In 2001 there was some fighting between Kosovan Albanian guerrillas and Macedonian forces.

RELIGION

Historically, the Orthodox Church has had a strong influence. A harsh policy aimed at restricting religious groups (apart from Orthodox, Catholics and Muslims) was overturned in court in 1999, but some restrictions remain.

Religions Population % Adherents Ann.Gr.
Christian 63.43 1,283,557 +0.1%
Muslim 25.00 505,895 +2.7%
non-Religious/other 11.52 233,116 -0.8%

Christians Denom. Affil.% ,000 Ann.Gr.
Protestant 6 0.20 4 +1.7%
Independent 5 0.03 1 +5.6%
Catholic 1 0.99 20 +0.5%
Orthodox 3 62.07 1,256 +0.1%
Marginal 1 0.13 3 +24.1%

Churches MegaBloc Cong. Members Affiliates
Macedonian Orthodox O 1,100 843,537 1,240,000
Catholic C 26 13,000 20,000
Other Orthodox [2] O 13 11,000 16,000
Methodist P 13 1,300 1,500
Evangelical P 12 403 1,136
Seventh-day Adventist P 10 411 633
Congregational P 3 180 400
Pente & charis [4] I 12 165 400
Church of God P 4 118 180
Baptist P 4 110 160
Other denoms [3]   15 1,173 2,940
Total Christians [17]   1,212 872,000 1,283,000

Trans-bloc Groupings pop.% ,000 Ann.Gr.
Evangelical 0.2 3 +4.2%
Charismatic 0.1 2 +4.1%
  Pentecostal 0.1 1 +4.2%

Missionaries from Macedonia
P,I,A 18 in 1 agency.

Missionaries to Macedonia
P,I,A 47 in 10 agencies from 4 countries: USA 42.



click for legend

Challenges for Prayer

1 Macedonia's ethnic diversity dominates its political and social existence. Macedonian pluralism resembles segregation more than harmony. Finding a balance between the demands of the respective ethnic minorities, especially the large Albanian population, is a challenge for the authorities. Pray for the government to sensitively seek peace and justice for all. Pray also for God's anointing upon President Trajkovski, who is a believer and has served as a lay preacher in the Methodist Church.

2 The Macedonian Orthodox Church claims to be shepherd to the majority of the population, but their 1,100 churches remain largely empty. There are only 150 priests. Spiritually weak and steeped in tradition, the Orthodox Church often actively opposes any evangelical or evangelistic ministry. Pray for new life to touch this Church and all those who belong to it.

3 The evangelical witness is small, but growing. The Methodist, Baptist, Congregational and Evangelical Churches are growing, and vigorous new pentecostal and charismatic churches are springing up around the country. Pray for unity among believers and active vision for outreach. The opportunities are there, as the Kosovo crisis has made people more open to Jesus – largely through the aid and relief work of Christian groups.

4 The ethnic minorities are numerous, and all in need of ministry.

a) Albanians, who claim to number one-third of Macedonia's population, are rapidly increasing through both a higher birth rate and thousands of refugees who fled persecution in Kosovo. Tensions between the restive Albanian population, with their demands for increasing political influence, and the majority of Macedonians could lead to long-term problems. Though nearly all are Muslim, with only a few known Christians among them, they are open to the loving witness of evangelical believers.

b) The large Roma population may number 200,000. Skopje is the largest Roma city in the world. There are several believers among them, and three Roma churches.

c) The Turkish community live mainly in the western city of Debar (84% Muslim). There is only one small evangelical Christian house church among them.

d) The Torbish (Macedonian-speaking Muslims) number 16,000. No ministry among this group exists.

5 Foreign missions are finding Macedonia to be one of Europe's neediest lands, and one of the more difficult to access. Worldshare, IMB-SBC, Pioneers, Frontiers and Partners International are actively conducting ministry alongside indigenous ministry organizations. Two training/discipleship schools have been started in Macedonia; pray that they might nurture godly, anointed leadership for the young church in this nation. Pray also for the ministry of SEAM(IFES); many of the new converts are young people.

6 Media and literature are important ministries in Macedonia.

a) The Bible Society was formed in 1998, and is overseeing the distribution of two new Macedonian translations of the Bible, one done by SGA.

b) A Christian Cultural Centre in Skopje includes a Christian bookstore, although only a few books have been translated into Macedonian. Pray for more Christian material in Macedonian to be developed and distributed – PI has a vision for this.

c) Radio. Christian broadcasts from TWR can be heard in Albanian (2 hrs/wk) and Macedonian (3 hrs/wk).

d) The JESUS film has been widely viewed on television and film. It is available in Albanian, Macedonian, Roma and Turkish.

Internet Links

| Top | Home | Pray Today | Prayer Resources | Updates | OW Team | Contact Us | Policy | Tech Support |
.