• Pray for a shattering of bitterness and prejudice between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
• Pray for Muslims in the north to place their hope not in economic prosperity but in Jesus.
• Pray for discipleship, spiritual maturity, and bold witnesses among ethnic minority believers.
For thousands of years, the fertile plains and arid mountains of Cyprus have born witness to the rise and fall of numerous empires. Located just south of Turkey, this third-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea has been ruled by no less than eleven world powers over the past three millennia. Cyprus is mentioned numerous times in the Bible, and Barnabas, one of the earliest Christian missionaries, was a native Cypriot. He and the apostle Paul traveled and preached across the island almost 2,000 years ago.
Having gained independence from Britain in 1960, Cyprus struggled to achieve stability, and a 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of the north has divided the island to this day, creating as many as 230,000 refugees. The Republic of Cyprus, claiming authority over the whole island, is recognized internationally as the official state, while only Turkey recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which encompasses one-third of the island. With a greater degree of interaction over the past decade, deep divisions between Greek and Turkish Cypriots have begun to soften. While negotiations for reunification have continued since 2008, a seeming majority of Cypriots approve. Unfortunately, Cyprus also finds itself in dire economic straits, with heavy exposure to bad foreign debt and an economy largely dependent on tourism and financial services - both of which saw significant declines during the recent global financial crisis.
The Orthodox Church is a key element of Greek Cypriot culture and identity. While Cyprus is one of the more religious countries in the European Union, and roughly two-thirds of the population consider themselves Orthodox, those who do attend church are increasingly rural and older. Negative prejudices against Evangelical and other Protestant churches are easing but continue to be a stumbling block to many. The strongest recent advancement of the Gospel has been among minority communities, including Russians, Sri Lankans, Filipinos, and Iranians. While freedom of religion exists, proselytism by these ethnic minorities is closely monitored. Small numbers of Turkish Cypriots, over 99% of whom are Muslim, have become followers of Jesus.
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. - John 14:14
Source: sinhala christian worship songs- 1 (Vineyard Christian Church.Cyprus: shalomi100
Capital City: Nicosia (Lefkosia/Lefkosa)
Government: Presidential republic
Major People Groups: 69% Greek Cypriot; 23% Turkish Cypriot; 1% British; 1% Punjabi; 1% Cypriot Maronite Arab; plus 13 others
Religion: Christian 70%, Muslim 23%, Agnostic 4%, Sikh 1%, Atheist 1%, Buddhist 1%
Language: Greek, Turkish, English, Arabic, Eastern Punjabi
GDP Per Capita: $37,700
Literacy Rate: 99.1%
POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 20.1%