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?
*Miram pushes a grocery cart in her long black dress and deep purple hijab (head covering), her three young children whirling around her. She scolds one for running and picks up a bag of oranges. Her eyes fill with tears as she remembers picking fresh oranges off the trees in her yard back in Libya as a child.
*Imen sits in a high-rise office, typing a finance report for her company. The Call to Prayer alert sounds on her phone, and she pulls a prayer rug out of the bottom drawer of her desk, unrolling it on the floor to face Mecca. She loosens the fashionable scarf around her neck and drapes it over her grey-streaked black hair. She removes her shoes and stands on the rug to pray.
*Ifra paces the floor of her tiny apartment, laboring for breath as her round, pregnant belly tightens with its first contractions. She hastily types a WhatsApp message in Somalian to her mother, who is hundreds of miles away. “Baby is coming! Wish you were here.”
NAME Women are a diverse group. Their stories and skin tones set them apart from the Europeans around them, but they face many of the same struggles. They are mothers, sisters, and daughters. They work, cook, clean, plan, love, laugh, and live the same as we do, all the while facing unique struggles and hurdles.
For some women, violence, trauma, and immense loss propel them across dangerous waters to seek a new life, safe from the bombs of war. They bring their families, brokenness, grief, and immense courage.
Others followed their fathers, husbands, and brothers to start a new life. They learn a new language and culture, facing loneliness and isolation as an outsider in a world that doesn’t always have a place for them.
Other women were born in Europe to immigrant parents and live between two worlds, the country they live in and the culture and tradition of their families.
However they came and whatever their reasons, these women are made and loved by God. In Mark 5, Jesus answers the plea of a man whose daughter was gravely ill. On his way to heal the girl, a woman who’d been bleeding for twelve years touched the hem of his garment and was healed. When Jesus stopped and asked who’d touched him, the woman revealed herself. Jesus said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease” (Mark 5:34, ESV). He then went and raised the girl, who in that time had died, from the dead. In one story, we see Jesus’ love, care, and regard for women, young and old. God offers dignity, hope, and joy to women!
There are wonderful opportunities for believers in Europe to befriend, love, serve, learn from, and share the good news of Jesus Christ with NAME women. Pray that these amazing women will hear, understand, and believe the good news that God knows them, loves them, and cherishes them so much that he sent his only Son to die and be raised again on their behalf! Pray that many women will believe and raise a generation of men and women to know and love God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23, ESV).
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