Greece, the beautiful Mediterranean nation with numerous islands, is a paradise on earth–visually speaking. It is a popular tourist destination renowned for its turquoise water, archaeological sites, beautiful beaches, and warm climate. Like the rest of Europe, however, it is facing crippling inflation in 2022. Add to this the recent devastating flooding to occur in Crete, and it would be easy to see how fearful and anxious the population could grow. With a small 0.4% estimated to be evangelical Christians, the majority of the population is in desperate need of the hope found only in Christ Jesus. Please be in prayer for those affected by the flooding, for missionaries to go to those unreached in Greece, and for open and receptive hearts.
Turkish President Erdogan has been claiming that Greece has been positioning its military in demilitarized zones on some Greek Aegean islands. At the beginning of September, it is alleged that Turkish fighter jets had been targeted by Greece. During a reconnaissance flight, Erdogan claims that Greek air defence systems were locked onto Turkish jets in order to harass and threaten them. Erdogan’s advice to Greece was this: “do not forget Izmir”; a reminder of the Greek withdrawal from the city of Izmir [Smyrna] in 1922.
Turkey was once a bastion of Christianity. The first-century church spread the gospel throughout the land, and it was strong in this faith for about 1,000 years. The decline has been extreme, and today, 0% of the population are evangelical Christian. This directly correlates to the political climate, where today many are persecuted for opposing the current leadership.
Historically, Greece was the very first nation in Europe to be evangelised. Today, a high majority of Greeks would claim to be Orthodox Christians, however, of those, it is estimated that less than 3% regularly attend church. Only 0.4% of the population claims to be evangelical.
The political and financial uncertainties facing both Turkey and Greece no doubt give the citizens of both countries great concern. Much of what happens politically and financially is completely out of their hands. Please pray for the Christians of both countries to be vocal in their belief. Pray also for labourers to answer to call to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to these nations. Only in Christ can they find peace from the troubles of this world.
The summer of 2021 has brought a severe heatwave to Greece unlike any seen in 30 years. Temperatures reached a blazing 113°F (45°C), causing wildfires to erupt all over the country. Greece’s second-largest island, Evia, is battling the most intense fire, with more than 2,000 people having been evacuated and many homes and villages destroyed. A fire north of Athens caused thousands to evacuate the city last week, but has since subsided. In all, 140,000 acres were consumed within 10 days by wildfires around Greece. To help control the blaze, the army was deployed to Evia, as well as hundreds of firefighters. Several countries have sent their own firefighters to help contain the spread. In total, more than 500 wildfires have spread across Greece this month.
Just like the evacuation boats rescuing people from the clutches of a raging fire and certain death, the Gospel is the only hope for people to be saved from a life of destruction and eternal separation from God. Christians are the firefighters, and the fire is spreading rapidly. Many more workers are needed from various countries in the spiritual rescue effort. Of the Greek population, only .4% is evangelical Christian, meaning that thousands of people die daily with no hope and no one to tell them of salvation. Please pray for the people affected by the wildfires and for laborers to answer the call to take the Gospel to Greece.
In March of 2021, Greece celebrated the bicentennial of the beginning of the war that won their independence. This war against the Ottoman Empire began in 1821, and lasted until 1830. Britain, Russia, and France all aided the Greeks in their fight for freedom 200 years ago. To celebrate, many foreign dignitaries were present in Athens to watch the televised parade and air force overflights. In true COVID-19 fashion, people were unable to gather to celebrate due to a surge in virus cases. Had citizens attended, they would have seen the Russian prime minister, Prince Charles, and the Cypriot president, among others.
The celebrations this year were overshadowed by the tension between Greece and Turkey, which escalated in 2020 over energy exploration and territory rights. War ships from both countries were ready for action, but Turkey finally withdrew its ships from Cypriot and Greek waters.
Greece is heavily influenced by Greek Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Overall, a mere .4% of the population is evangelical Christian. The best “Happy Birthday” present would be the spiritual birthday of many of its citizens. Please pray for the gospel to be spread throughout the country and for souls to be saved this year.
A 5.9 magnitude earthquake has hit the island of Crete. The earthquake hit this past Saturday afternoon. According to the Independent, “there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, the police, fire brigade, and civil protection authorities said.”
Please pray for Crete and the entire country of Greece that has been through lots of tough economic times in the past decade.