Macedonia

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Macedonia

Republic of Macedonia

Europe

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Geography

Area: 25,713 sq km

Landlocked state surrounded by Serbia/Kosovo, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania.

Population: 2,043,360    Annual Growth: 0.08%

Capital: Skopje

Urbanites: 67.9%

HDI Rank: 72 of 182 (UN Human Development Reports 2009)

Peoples

Peoples: 25 (24% unreached) All peoples
Unreached Peoples Prayer Card

Official language: Macedonian, one of the southern Slavic languages    Languages: 10 All languages

Religion

Largest Religion: Christian

Religion               Pop %Ann Gr
Christians1,338,40165.500.1
Evangelicals4,2700.23.2

Challenges for Prayer

The evangelical witness is small, but growing. Almost every Protestant/Independent expression of faith is active and increasing. Even so, there are fewer than 100 evangelical congregations. Pray for the many challenges of and opportunities for the Church:

a) Opposition. The label of “cult” persists, but is slowly fading for evangelicals. Obstructive tactics by the government often hold back the church from building the facilities needed to host the growing congregations. Pray for favour from the government and a humble attitude from the Church.

b) Unity. Expressions of oneness in Christ are increasing, including pastors’ prayer summits and networks, citywide worship events, and even websites focused on the issue. Pray that believers might press into true unity and that Christians’ love for one another might attract many to Christ.

c) Church planting, evangelism and mission. Macedonian believers “punch above their weight” in terms of outward-focused ministry. Many congregations look to reproduce and so deliberately move into cities and neighbourhoods previously unevangelized. House churches are a great part of this focus. Pray for a grassroots movement that sees the numbers of Macedonian believers rapidly multiply. Indigenous groups such as Macedonian Mission to the Balkans (reaching all ethnicities in the southern regions of the former Yugoslavia) are impacting Macedonia as well as neighbouring countries.

d) Training and discipleship. The first (non-Orthodox) theological school in the country is being planned – Macedonia Bible Seminary is aiming to open by autumn 2010. In the meantime, ministries such as SEND, YWAM and SGA all focus on raising up mature and biblically literate believers. Generally, multiple small congregations increase the need for leaders, yet are a better structure in which to disciple Christians.

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

a) Albanians represent 25% of Macedonia’s population, and their numbers are rapidly increasing through birth rates and immigration. Greater tensions between Albanians – with their demands for increasing political influence – and the majority of Macedonians seem inevitable, but neither group desires the upheaval suffered in neighbouring Kosovo. Almost all Macedonian Albanians are unevangelized Muslims, but there is an openness to loving witness. Thus far, there are no groups of Christians from a Macedonian Albanian background.

b) The Romani population is chronically poor, oppressed, uneducated, unemployed and captive to a blend of Islam and folk superstitions. Sutka, near Skopje, is home to many of Macedonia’s 80,000 Romani and is one of the largest Romani communities in the world. YWAM, Pioneers, the Methodists, Pentecostals and Baptists are all seeing fruit among the Romani.

c) The Turkish community lives mainly in eastern Macedonia. There are a handful of believers, but no evangelical church among them. A few groups are now engaged in outreach to them.

     For an additional 4 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.

More Information

The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Macedonia.