Wildfires are raging in Greece forcing thousands to evacuate in one of its worst heatwaves in decades. Let us pray for those affected, and for the ECM workers and ministries there.
Following the recent fire outbreak on Lesvos Island which completely destroyed the refugee camp of Moria and rendered over 12,000 people once again without shelter, please pray for God’s mercy on these people, who have already suffered so much; for Greek and European authorities, that more effective action may be taken to resolve the root of the problem; and for Greek Christians, churches, and agencies who are stepping up efforts to alleviate the suffering, and to share Christ's compassion.
Pray for an overcrowded, well-publicised, refugee camp on a Greek island. Pray for the people who have either escaped war, people smuggling or severe, economic hardship. Many face unbearable living conditions and are sleeping either in makeshift tents or out in the elements. Pray especially for God’s protection over the young and vulnerable. Yet, despite the shadows of darkness, Jesus, the true light, is at work in the hearts of men, women, and children. Pray for the Syrian, Iranian, Afghan and Iraqi group that meet three times a week to journey through Al Massira. Many are entering into a real and living relationship with the Messiah in these days.
The Moria refugee camp in Lesbos is overcrowded and the atmosphere in the camp is highly charged. Moria is a particularly dangerous place for women and safety is a big issue. Pray for the Christian organisations working to bring a sense of hope to the camps and the practical out workings of this. One of these is the Shewee - a portable urination device for women and girls which means they don’t have to leave their tents or containers after dark to visit the toilet. Thousands of women have now received these devices and it has made a big difference. Pray that such compassionate projects will reveal Jesus to the struggling refugees.
Moria refugee camp in Lesbos, has been described as “the worst refugee camp in the world”. People are living in very difficult crowded conditions and the atmosphere in the camp is highly charged. Living conditions are basic and frustrations bubble over quickly. Moria is a particularly dangerous place for women. There is a closed section for women who are alone, but after 11pm the door is open, and anyone can come in because there is no security guard at night. Safety is a big issue. Pray for a solution to this massive problem and for the Christians working with refugees on Lesbos, that their compassion will bring hope. Pray that they would share God’s love with gentleness and respect.
In 2017, 68.5 million people were displaced as a direct result of persecution, conflict or violence. People make treacherous journeys by foot and by sea, with few possessions. They arrive exhausted. Many are traumatised and feel unsafe and they often face resentment and extremist threats. Pray for the victims of human trafficking, who were promised hope and a future. Pray for safety and protection for people making treacherous journeys. Pray for Bible-believing churches and Christian migrants to have opportunities to respond in practical ways with the love and message of Jesus Christ.
Greece has a population of 11 million and has suffered as a result of the crippling burden of national debt and austerity measures, and now the additional crisis of 50,000 refugees who are stranded in the country. In Athens, many problems arise from the exploitation of refugees with a steep rise in prostitution, people-smuggling and drug addiction. One Christian ministry Nea Zoi (New Life) has for two decades reached out to children and adults trapped in prostitution offering care, information and practical support. Since prostitution is legal in Greece, brothels are open for 24 hours, 7 days a week and literally become prisons for vulnerable women forced into what is called the ‘first profession’. Teams of dedicated volunteers walk the streets of Athens at night up to five times a week offering hot and cold drinks, a smile, love and acceptance. Pray for their work and practical help given to set these women free. (Transform Europe Now)
In Europe there is a huge amount of humanitarian aid but very little gospel outreach. Yet there are many opportunities to take the gospel to those who have never heard it in emerging migrant communities. In Italy, most migrants are African, but there is great gospel need. There is enormous potential for sports ministries, teaching and practical training. In Athens also, there is a huge need for Arabic speakers to connect with migrants; however the Greek Evangelical Church is small and under-funded, existing in a climate with a total ban on evangelism in official centres. The only way to reach people in these communities is through unofficial ministries and programmes. Pray that many migrants may hear the gospel in Europe while we have this open door of opportunity like never before. Pray for the budding Christian ministries that are joining together to help bring Christ to refugees. May the Western Church also be open to the evangelisation and blessing Christian migrants bring.
Population: 10,955,000 (2015)
Official languages: Greek
GDP (PPP) per capita: $26,669 (2016 est.)
Life expectancy: 81 years
Religions: 95% Greek Orthodox, 2% Catholic, 2% Agnostic or Atheist, 1% other religions