• Pray for the financial meltdown to drive people to Jesus for lasting peace and security.
• Pray for the Church to be purged of any heresy, syncretism, or division.
• Pray for a clear presentation of the Gospel to reach a nation where very few have heard the Truth.
In Acts 16:9, Luke writes, "During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.'" Paul responded, and the subsequent evangelization of Greece brought the Gospel into Europe. Greece was the seat of one of the greatest ancient civilizations. Sophisticated science, medicine, philosophy, drama, and the arts flourished, particularly in Athens. Ruins like the Parthenon are reminiscent of the achievements of that golden age. Strategically located near Asia and surrounded by the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas, Greece has had a significant sea trade history. Today, Greece has the world's largest merchant fleet.
Democracy was first practiced in Greece's early city-states, but in the years that followed much freedom was lost. Four hundred years of Turkish domination ended in 1830 with independence and the institution of a monarchy. World War II brought Nazi occupation, followed by a civil war and two military dictatorships, which ended in 1974. A parliamentary republic was formed and the monarchy was eliminated. In the late 2000s a financial crisis swept the globe and devastated Greece. A history of massive public spending and tax evasion, combined with a debilitating recession, led to a severe government debt crisis and a decrease in the living standards of its people. Greece has yet to recover. On top of this, over one million people have fled war and persecution in Africa and Asia, landing on Greece’s shores in search of peace. In fact, hundreds still arrive daily. Many of these vulnerable masses find themselves stranded and unable to find asylum. Greece’s refugee population has now reached over 62,000; their living conditions are deplorable and unsustainable.
The Greek Orthodox Church is the official church of Greece, and the strong force that perpetuated the Greek culture and language during the long Ottoman rule. It continues to be a significant part of the cultural identity of the nation and receives state funding. Most of the population (98%) considers themselves to be Orthodox, but less than three percent attend any church regularly. Although laws have changed lessening discrimination for non-Orthodox believers, Protestants and Catholics often face problems if it is perceived they are drawing Greeks away from the Orthodox Church. But Evangelicals, both within and outside the Orthodox Church, are finding ways to reach the many who do not know the Gospel through service and other activities.
Capital City: Athens
Government: Parliamentary democracy
Major People Groups: 80% Greek (Hellenic, Dimotiki); 4% Pontic; 3% Tosk Albanian; 2% Macedonian; 2% Aromanian (Aromunen)
Religion: Christian 89%, Muslim 6%, Agnostic 4%
Language: Greek, Albanian, Pntic, Aromanian, Slavic
GDP Per Capita: $27,300
Literacy Rate: 97.9%
POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 2%
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