The Turkish government has begun to focus on the building contractors whom many deem responsible for the collapse of buildings in the earthquake-prone region. Guidelines and inspections are in place to help prevent the types of collapse seen with this earthquake. A handful of contractors have been detained or officially arrested while the government investigates 130 others involved in the construction. The contractors claim that their work met the standards and that the government is simply looking for a scapegoat to answer to the citizens who have lost family and friends.
Turkey, an Islamic nation, is in desperate need of strong Christians to share the Gospel without fear. With Islam being the largest religion, it is not particularly friendly towards Christianity. 52% of the population is completely unreached with the Gospel and the estimated evangelical Christian population is 0%. Please be in prayer for the people of Turkey as recovery efforts continue; please also pray that Christians will answer the call to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this hurting nation.
Bulgarians suffered greatly under Communism until 1989, and the residual effects still have a grip on this nation, which is the poorest country in the EU. Many people choose to leave Bulgaria for a better life elsewhere. Those who stay are bombarded with political upheaval such as the current situation. Church planters and missionaries are needed to add to the estimated 1.9% evangelical Christian population in Bulgaria. Please be in prayer for many Bulgarians to come to know the true and lasting peace that is found in Christ alone. The message of the Gospel has the power to save and free from fear of an unknown future.
While many protests against the influx of migrants and asylum-seekers occur in Ireland near refugee centers in small neighborhoods, recently a larger protest was organized and held in Dublin. Ireland has historically prided itself on its warm welcome to strangers, however, protesters argue that the nation is running out of room to house non-Irish people. Ireland is currently facing both a housing and a homelessness crisis and many are angry that foreigners receive housing priority over citizens. Many also worry that droves of young refugee men are arriving in the country unvetted, leaving the neighborhoods they settle into uncomfortable with their presence. One year ago, the government was housing a total number of 7,500 migrants and refugees; today, that number has climbed to 73,000 with Ukrainians comprising 54,000 and asylum-seekers 19,000. A counter-protest took place in support of migrants with both groups having nearly the same number of participants. The protestors against the influx of migrants deny that racism has any bearing on their position while the counter-protestors state that it is a far-right maneuver to isolate and frighten the refugees.
Prior to the current refugee situation, Ireland’s population was 4.9 million. Of those millions, only 1.5% are evangelical Christians while the majority of the country is Roman Catholic–many in name only. Please pray for the Irish people to be open to the gospel, for church planters to go to this needy nation, and for the peace and love of Jesus Christ to drastically change the hearts of every person there, both Irish and non-Irish.
On Friday, January 13, an explosion occurred in a gas pipeline that runs from Lithuania to Latvia. Fortunately, no one was reported injured. The gas supply was promptly cut off and the fire was put out, however, the damaged pipeline was unusable. The CEO of the gas company stated that another parallel line was unaffected and will be used to supply the same amount to Latvia. The recent Nord Stream Pipeline explosion has caused a major surge in energy prices in Europe, placing further hardships on families already struggling with the cost of living crisis. However, it has been expressed by this gas company that the clients will in no way be affected by this event. There is an in-depth investigation taking place into the explosion but initial reports claim there is no cause to suspect an attack.
Both Lithuania and Latvia suffered greatly under communism and the Soviet Union and the effects are still visible. Both are in need of missionaries and church planters to carry the gospel to the many unreached peoples. In Lithuania, only 1% of the population is evangelical and 1% is completely unreached. Latvia has a higher evangelical population at 7% but an unreached population of 1%. Please pray for workers for these countries and for the citizens to be open to the hope and salvation found in Jesus Christ.
When Poland’s nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party took power in 2015, it began calling for reparations to be paid by Germany for World War II. The most recent effort to begin talks on reparations was in October of 2022 and was quickly dismissed by Germany, with the foreign minister stating that the issue had already been decided. Poland’s deputy foreign minister claimed that Germany’s response showed disrespect for Poles. The estimated devastation caused to Poland was approximately $1.4 trillion, however, in 1953 Poland’s government declined all rights to claim reparations. Only when PiS took power in 2015 did the issue of reparations become a major talking point and a political platform spurring the constituents towards nationalism.
Both Poland and Germany are in need of church planters and missionaries to share with the citizens the hope and peace found in Jesus Christ. Germany is a multicultural nation with large numbers of immigrants, and Poland is recovering from years of poverty under communism. In Germany, 2% of the population is evangelical while in Poland the percentage is 0.3. The unreached in Poland is 1% and in Germany is 4%. What unites both countries is the fact the God loves each and every individual and cares about their wellbeing in this life and the next. Please pray for more workers to take the gospel to the people of Poland and Germany.