There are currently over 25 million Muslims in Europe (projected to be between 35 and 75 million by the year 2050). Multiplying year after year, the Muslim population in Europe is significantly growing. As immigrants and asylum seekers from countries all over North Africa and the Middle East flood into almost all of its countries, the face of Europe is changing in many ways. What it means to be a European is changing. Politics and government are changing. Religion is changing. The future of many European countries is changing.
With these changes come many challenges. But, as Muslims fill European countries, there is also an incredible opportunity for us as believers.
Coming from closed countries to open ones, God is orchestrating this migration: “so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him” (Acts 17:27). Muslims in Europe are in a place where they can freely have the gospel shared with them! And Muslims who give their life to Jesus are able to impactfully reach their friends and families still living in those closed countries.
What some see as an inconvenience or even a threat, in so many Muslims migrating to Europe, is being used to spark a movement of Muslims giving their lives to Jesus and it is our prayer that that movement will multiply!
So how do you factor into this? What impact can you make on the changing face of Europe?
We believe that every great movement begins with great prayer. So we want you to help us pray through this entire year for God to change the hearts of Muslims as the face of Europe changes. Each month we will focus on a specific way that the Muslim migration is changing different European countries and give you ways to partner with us in prayer. Will you join us in praying for the Muslims in Europe?
NAME peoples came to Europe for immigration, asylum, and better lives. Some cannot return to their homelands due to war, famine, and poverty. Others work hard and send their hard-earned money back to family members in their home countries. Still, others have the opportunity to travel back periodically. Though they live in Europe, most have connections and ties back in their home countries.
In many NAME countries, there is limited access to the gospel and little to no freedom to follow Jesus. It is illegal to convert to Christianity and there is much persecution. By his grace, God is working even in the darkest, most difficult to reach places. Faithful servants of God are spreading the gospel and planting churches despite the challenges, but that’s not all.
The Lord is calling, preparing, and equipping another type of gospel-carrier, NAME Christians. They intimately know their culture, language, and have family ties and contacts that span generations. We dare not fall into a colonial mindset that because they are from a different place and speak a different language, they are incapable of doing the same gospel work we are called to do.
This is not a small thing to ask. Persecution is very real in the lives of Christians who live in countries hostile to the gospel. For some, it may cost them relationships with their families. Others may go to jail. Still others will be beaten. Some brothers and sisters will die.
Is this cost worth it? Can we truly ask, indeed encourage our brothers and sisters into harm’s way for a religious belief?
As Americans, we have little experience with persecution, but Jesus made it clear that it is a normal part of being his disciple. Paul tells us in Rom. 8: 16, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him”. The same grace that makes us co-heirs with Christ comes with suffering as our Savior did. Jesus is worth every bit of suffering this side of eternity.
Pray with us this month that God will raise an army of gospel-loving NAME Christians who will share the gospel with their families and friends even though they are far from home. Pray that as they return to their home countries and travel to other places where their diaspora lives, they will share the good news. Ask for boldness, provision, and much grace as they face persecution and perhaps even losing their life.
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