Moldova cannot move forward until it solves several major issues. Transnistria functions almost as a separate state (with support from Russia), and makes the country unstable. It has become a centre for organized crime and smuggling. The depressed economy forces 1 out of every 4 people to seek work outside the country. Moldova has the largest proportion of women lured abroad into human trafficking rings. Many people struggle with alcohol and drug abuse. Pray for a government that wisely and effectively addresses these devastating challenges.
The influence of the Orthodox Church makes evangelical work difficult. Preaching and planting churches in traditionally Orthodox villages is especially opposed, frequently with violence. Bureaucratic antipathy to any non-Orthodox work means that building and registering churches is a difficult process; houses are usually converted to make new evangelical buildings. Yet there is also life in the Orthodox Church, especially through Agape, a ministry of The Lord's Army. Pray that the Holy Spirit would deepen the spiritual life of many from the Orthodox faith.
Evangelical Christians have multiplied greatly in spite of many challenges. Materially lacking, their spiritual vitality and determination yield much fruit. Still, poverty has forced many pastors and up to 20,000 evangelicals to leave Moldova in recent years. Pray that God might provide the church's material needs - employment, buildings, discipleship materials, training resources. Agape and the Salvation Army are particularly active in assisting the poor. Praise God that unity among denominations is increasing.
The less reached for prayer:
- The Gagauz, who are Turkish but Orthodox Christians. Among them are some evangelicals, who have a vision to reach Muslims both in Moldova and in Eurasia.
- The Muslim minorities. Increasing numbers of Turkic Muslims (>20,000) face antipathy from the Orthodox majority, but the Gagauz and Moldovans (Romanian Missionary Society) are sharing the gospel with them.
- The Gypsy population is large and has very few evangelical Christians.
Mission vision among Moldovans is rapidly growing, but training and support are serious obstacles requiring prayer. OM and the European Baptist Federation are just two of the groups dedicated to finding innovative ways to train, send and support economically-limited Moldovans through partnerships with other Christians. Pray for a release of resources to support those called by God to serve in Moldova and abroad.
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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.