A new Bible translation in the N. Sami language will give access to 10,000s Sami speakers, especially to young people who struggle to understand the dated language in older versions. Pray that God’s word will reach all Sami people.
In 2015, over 161,000 asylum seekers crossed the border into Sweden. At one point there were 10,000 refugees per week entering the country, with a population of only 9.5 million. That meant Sweden accepted more refugees in proportion to its population than any other nation in the developed world. When Sweden's ability to process, house and integrate applicants was overstretched, and it closed it’s doors to new arrivals, church ministries helped to fill in the gap. Many refugees have begun to ask about the Christian faith, responding to the love shown them by Swedish believers. Pray for the refugee families waiting months for visa interviews and the start of their new life. Pray for them to be encouraged and befriended. Pray for effective integration into Sweden’s distinctive culture.
Sweden is known as one of the most secular countries of the world. Although much of the population are members of the Lutheran church, just a small percentage visits a church regularly. Particularly in the north, the Christian faith seems to have disappeared from society. As ECM works with the Sami people, an indigenous people with its own language and parliament, their desire is that the gospel may become relevant for these people. ECM also focuses on Stockholm, one of the most secularized cities in Europe.
The fifth largest country in Europe, Sweden is a Nordic land spanning the Arctic Circle. It is sparsely populated, with over two thirds of all inhabitants living in the southern cities. While most Swedes are Lutheran, active faith is found in a much smaller number; for instance, only about 5-7% attend church at least once a month and it is reckoned that while most people own a Bible, few people actually read it. One of the great challenges for the Church is to reach young people who, as a result of the decline in church attendance, have often had no meaningful exposure to the gospel. It is sad then, that despite Sweden’s wealth, there are many remote churches that don’t have the money to buy evangelistic and Sunday school materials.
Population: 10,042,928 (2017)
Official languages: Swedish
GDP (PPP) per capita: $49,678 (2016 est.)
Life expectancy: 81 years
Religions: 76% Agnostic or Atheist, 17% Protestant, 3% Muslim, 1% Catholic, 1% Eastern Orthodox, 2% other religions