The diverse cultures of Europe provide the backdrop for extremes. The communism of the East and the wealth and liberalism of Scandinavia, the relaxed joviality of the Mediterranean region and the propriety of Great Britain all add to the facets of a continent that has great influence and historical significance in the life of most Americans.
Europe also tends to lead a procession towards a secular society and a dying church. IMB workers who have devoted their lives to spreading the gospel of Christ among Europeans face daily challenges of hardened hearts, empty church buildings, and disdain for religion.
But your prayers and God’s faithfulness are moving people to respond to the gospel. English camps, football clubs, coffee houses, and student activities are among some of the ministries used to build community around the truths of Christ.
The past couple of years, refugees and internally displaced persons have created the most massive migration of people in Europe since WWII.
The unprecedented influx of refugees also is changing the face of Europe and the scope of ministries. The past couple of years, refugees and internally displaced persons have created the most massive migration of people in Europe since WWII. News headlines report the prevalent fears and anxieties of the refugees and host countries, but what isn’t being told is that countless numbers of them are hearing the gospel for the first time when they reach the shores of Europe.
Thanks to the freedoms allowed to share Christ and the faithfulness of believers, many have come to Christ, been baptized, and have begun discipleship groups. This response is affecting the indigenous church as well, as they realize anew their mission and calling to feed the hungry, shelter the poor, and share the good news of Christ with whomever God brings to their door.
“This [refugee crisis] will change the face of Europe. The church’s response over the next 5–10 years will largely determine the spiritual future of the continent,” said Troy Staubach, the IMB strategy leader for Europe.
DOWNLOAD European Peoples Prayer Guide
Please join us in praying for Europe. Use the European Peoples prayer guide for directed and specific ways to pray for the many people groups, both indigenous and foreign, that make up the fabric of this diverse continent.
Nicole Leigh is a writer for IMB. She lives with her family in Prague.