The evangelical Church is very small but growing. From around 80 believers at the outbreak of war in 1998, there are now over 2,000, mostly young men and teens (often, girls are forced to keep their faith secret).
Churches mushroomed with the foreign humanitarian presence, but several have since closed; there are now about 35 evangelical churches, and they are quite evangelistic in their outlook. The formation of an evangelical alliance (Evangelical Movement of Kosovo) and the recognition of evangelicals as one of Kosovo’s five faith communities are both answers to prayer. Pray for unity among believers and continued growth in numbers and spiritual maturity.
Kosovo’s future is uncertain and gloomy. Ancient enmity between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo precipitated the crisis of 1998-1999. Peace remains fragile, and the restoration of this region is a distant hope. Pray that communal hatreds might be resolved and lasting peace, not dependent on foreign military forces, be established; the process surrounding independence is a highly charged issue.
The Kosovar Albanian population is mostly Muslim, but there are some Christians. Many Kosovars are quite nominally Muslim, but extremism is on the rise. Large financial injections from Saudi Arabia and Iran come with strings attached that pull Kosovo toward more radical forms of Islam. While hundreds of mosques have been erected using this money, hundreds of Christian sites have been damaged or destroyed by angry mobs. Pray that religious hatred might be quelled, and that Muslims would see beyond ethno-religious hatred to Jesus, to whom they are precious.
From Operation World, 7th Edition, by Jason Mandryk. Copyright (c) 2010 by Jason Mandryk. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, USA. www.ivpress.com