Great swathes of Central and Western Europe are truly post-Christian — where committed Christian remnants are small in number, low in confidence and marginalized. In these areas, the Church's battle against secularization and social irrelevance has been lost. What little faith remains is confined to private belief. These regions are some of the most devoid of spiritual life in the world and urgently need to be re-evangelized. Pray for a new wave of mission to post-Christian Europe, and for the re-awakening and revitalisation of the Christian faith. It may fall to the vibrant faith of African, Asian, and Latin American migrant churches to provide a new spiritual impetus to these regions.
The heartlands of Protestantism are now some of the most irreligious and secular on the entire continent. They include parts of Germany, Sweden and Denmark, the Benelux countries, the UK, France and the Czech Republic. Many of these areas have had little meaningful exposure to biblical Christianity for several generations. It is a sober indictment that such a great heritage of biblical Christianity has given way to pervasive godlessness.
Many European countries and peoples possess a strong and ancient Christian tradition, but very few evangelicals. These include Orthodox and Catholic heartlands such as Serbia, Poland, Montenegro, North Macedonia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Greece, the Basque region, Belarus, Georgia, Russia and more. In 17 nations in Europe, evangelicals make up less than 1% of the population. And of these, five have a percentage of less than 0.25%. Pray for the planting of many vibrant, witnessing groups of believers in these lands.
The younger generation represents a new challenge; many have grown up in a context devoid of Christian witness or explicitly Christian values. Such beliefs are not seen as relevant or important for most people under age 25. Spirituality is in vogue, but this tends to incorporate New Age, esoterism, eastern religions or the occult and rarely translates into participation in church life. Yet the door remains open to a culturally and generationally relevant expression of the gospel; Christian movements that resonate with young people have emerged in the last decade and resulted in thousands of groups of believers meeting together, but much remains to be done.
Unreached peoples. Over 400 peoples live within Europe's countries; nearly 250 of them can be regarded as only partially evangelized at best and often are completely unevangelized. Of these, the majority are immigrant or refugee peoples for whom specialized outreach is needed, including:
- Muslim ethnic groups from the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and the Balkans (including Bosniaks, Albanians and Turks).
- The Jewish remnant - reduced in many countries to a mere fragment of their former numbers during the Holocaust and through emigration to Israel, but still needing to be brought to the Messiah.
- The many ethnic minorities of the Russian Federation - in the Caucasus, Siberia, the Urals and the Arctic.
- The Chinese, who number over one million in Europe - a number climbing steadily, and almost doubled if Siberia and the Russian Far East are included. While in several parts of the UK and Germany there are thriving congregations, in most of Europe they are unreached.
- Asians from South and Southeast Asia, especially in Western Europe, who are from unevangelized peoples in their home countries and who remain equally isolated from Christians in their host nations. Pray also for the formation of missional networks that seek to effectively witness to these groups – the Evangelical Alliances of Europe and Ethne Europe are two such examples. It is possible that there are more non-Europeans engaged in reaching the continent's unreached than Europeans; pray that European believers would gain a greater burden for the lost on their own doorstep.
- Get all of this content and daily notifications in our free mobile app. Download here ›
- Sign up for a daily e-mail that gets you the featured prayer point of the day straight to your inbox.
- This content is a curated selection of points from our book, Operation World. Find out more about it and all the rest of Our Publications ›
Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.