• Pray for an unprecedented movement of the Holy Spirit in the Macedonian Orthodox church.
• Pray for an end to racial and ethnic tensions through a vibrant and growing Church.
• Pray for eternal success among indigenous Christian groups ministering in country as well as in surrounding countries.
Stepping foot into North Macedonia instantly transports you back in time, with its ancient architecture and medieval landmarks. The capital city, Skopje, is known for its Ottoman Old Bazaar — one of the largest and oldest marketplaces in the Balkans. Its prominent Stone Bridge across the Vardar River is a citywide symbol. Although ethnically Albanian, Mother Teresa was born in Skopje, and is considered one of the most famous Macedonians. North Macedonia’s terrain is largely mountainous. In fact, it has the most mountain peaks of any country in the world. Landlocked between Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Kosovo, and Albania, the nation plays a critical role as a junction for major trade routes.
Interestingly, North Macedonia is the only nation to gain independence from former Yugoslavia without any bloodshed. Independence was established in 1991 under the name “Macedonia”. However, the name was hotly contested by Greece, which saw it as making claims on the Greek territory with the same name. Macedonia adopted the new name “North Macedonia'' in 2019. With a history as ancient crossroads, it’s no surprise that North Macedonia has a diverse population today — including ethnic Macedonians, Albanians, Turks, and more. The people strongly identify along ethnic, religious, and linguistic lines, and ethnic minority Albanians historically faced intense persecution. Conflict between Albanians and Macedonians broke out in 2001, causing NATO forces to enter the region and leading the Macedonian congress to grant greater rights to the Albanian community. Other challenges in the country include high poverty rates, political and ethnic polarization, corruption, and industrial air pollution. Unemployment has improved somewhat over the last two decades, but still remains high.
North Macedonia is roughly 60% Christian and 32% Muslim, with the majority of the Christian population belonging to the Macedonian Orthodox Church. One of the largest cross structures in the world is The Millennium Cross on Vodno Mountain overlooking Skopje. It was built in 2002 as a memorial to 2,000 years of Christian tradition in North Macedonia. Despite an impressive religious resume, many churches remain empty and few people incorporate faith into their daily lives. With the nation traditionally Orthodox, it can be difficult for new religious groups to be established. Minority Christian denominations face challenges with registration and activities. However, there is an increasing focus on oneness in Christ, which includes pastors’ prayer networks and citywide worship events. Protestant and evangelical populations are growing. The evangelical Church in North Macedonia is one of the fastest-growing in Europe and is reaching across the many boundaries that exist in Macedonian society to minister Christ’s love to others.
Capital City: Skopje
Government: Parliamentary republic
Major People Groups: 56% Macedonian; 25% Kosovar (Albanian); 5% Balkan Gypsy (Jerides); 5% Aromanian (Aromunen); 3% Rumelian Turk
Religion: Christian 64%, Muslim 33%, Agnostic 3%
Language: Macedonian, Albanian, Romany, Vlach, Turkish
GDP Per Capita: $15,800
Literacy Rate: 98.4%
POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 30.8%
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