Malta was the first European nation to embrace Christianity, after the Apostle Paul was shipwrecked here. From 1000 BC onwards many powers seized this island, but the Maltese always kept their strong Christian identity. The majority regularly attend Catholic mass, and over 80% feel their religion is important. Malta remains the most religious nation in Europe. However, not many Maltese have a personal walk with the living Lord Jesus. Pray that the strong religious tradition will open the door into greater revelation of God in Jesus Christ.
Catholic charismatic groups are widespread and have had a significant impact; many wonderful believers have emerged as a result. Both the Alpha Course and the JESUS film have been key parts of this movement. Pray for a deeper and wider move of the Holy Spirit through the more than 65 groups. Pray for wisdom for the leaders to know how to have maximum impact while retaining biblical faithfulness.
Protestant evangelical witness did not exist until after independence in 1964 - British rulers did not permit it. Praise God for steady, albeit slow, growth since then. There are around 500 evangelicals in the 10-14 Protestant congregations and house churches in Malta.
Many Maltese have emigrated to other lands, such as Australia, Britain, Italy and Canada, where some have come to the Lord. Although the Maltese diaspora still outnumbers the Maltese population, increasing numbers are returning to their homeland. Pray that those returning would include active, witnessing followers of Christ.
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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.