Area: 238,391 sq km
Balkan state on the lower Danube River, a mix of mountains, hills and plains.
Population: 21,190,154 Annual Growth: -0.41%
Official language: Romanian Languages: 23 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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The Romanian diaspora in Europe can be regarded as both crisis and opportunity. Looking for a better life, between 10 and 20% of Romanians have left the country since 1990, a trend accelerated by EU entry in 2007. Combined with urbanization, this damages social structures and many families and churches. The exodus of the younger generation and the brain-drain of intellectuals and professionals will have a serious effect on the nation as will the trend of parents leaving their children with grandparents while they move abroad. But, on the positive side, many dynamic evangelical churches have been planted throughout Western Europe as a result. Pray that these churches might reach out beyond Romanians to the spiritually needy nations that host them. Pray also for more Romanian Christians to stay or to return in order to build up and transform their own nation.
Evangelical churches are not evenly spread throughout the nation. Pray for the following:
a) The southeast regions. On average, the 15 counties in the northwest have many times more evangelicals than the 27 counties in the southeast. There are 7,000 villages in the southeast without an evangelical church. Pray that believers might be burdened for these less-reached areas and bring the light of the gospel to them.
b) Ethnic groups that are less evangelical include Hungarians, Russians/Lipovens and Serbs all a significantly lower proportion than ethnic Romanians.
c) The Muslim community is not large, but it is in need of Christian witness. Most are Turks, Tatar or immigrants. Very little is done to reach them, although there have been some commendable initiatives in recent years.
d) The Romani (Gypsy) community, notoriously difficult to count, but numbering between 500,000 and 2.5 million. Although they are proportionately more evangelical than majority Romanians, they remain a needy people. They suffer discrimination and isolation, with much lower standards of living, education, health care and employment. Government programmes raise these standards and integrate them into society, but deep-seated prejudice must be overcome. Hundreds of thousands flee Romania only to meet harsh treatment in other European countries. But they are also the most spiritually responsive ethnicity to the gospel. Increasingly, Christian Romani now have bold vision to reach their own people.
For an additional 11 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Romania.