Balkan Peace in Jesus

Balkan Peace in Jesus

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

The western Balkan states are known for its millennium-long conflict ridden history.  Ethnocentric passions have poisoned the region.  The peace that comes through Jesus is the only hope.  Personal forgiveness from Christ can bring the power to forgive the savage remnants and memories of ethnic cleansing.

“… that He might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.  (Ephesians 2:15-16)


Balkan map 2008 final two layers with %

Countries involved:
Bosnia – Herzegovena, 0.1% evangelicals.  Bosnia has the fewest evangelicals (0.1%, about 500 in the entire country) and it is the most ethnically divided and is still under NATO peacekeeping control.

Serbia,  0.6% evangelicals.  Serbia is the most recent aggressor and contributor to ethnic cleansing in the 1990s.

Albania 0.5% evangelicals.  Albania is the 2nd most ethnically divided Balkan country.   Possible point of focus in Shkodër, a university city close to Kosovo.

Kosovo 0.1% evangelicals.  Kosovo is a victim of Serbian and Montenegrin ethnic cleansing in the late 1990s and is still under NATO peacekeeping control.

Macedonia 0.2% evangelicals.  Macedonia is the 3rd most ethnically divided Balkan country.

Montenegro 0.1% evangelicals.  Montenegro is a very low percentage of evangelicals and is closely united with Serbia.

Croatia 0.4% evangelicals.  Croatia was a victim of Balkan wars with Serbia but during World War II was allied with Nazi Germans and committed crimes against Serbia.

Overall strategy:

  1. Find a man of peace / existing believer in each country’s capital city public university.
  2. Strengthen our relationship through regular visits and distance mentoring.
  3. Together with the national contacts, prepare the English Club materials and follow-up Bible Studies focused on the specific needs of peace, forgiveness and love in Jesus.
  4. Work together to organize a week-long English Club in conjunction with a US church, using Biblical themes related to the peace and forgiveness found in Jesus.
  5. One prayer goal and focus of the English Club is to have a small group of participants who would want to continue to meet and study / discuss the themes of peace and forgiveness in Jesus in their native language.
  6. Continue mentoring with the goal that this small group discussion becomes a simple church.
  7. Continue growth and multiplication through inviting friends to Alpha-type gatherings (dinner followed by Bible discussion), with the theme of peace and forgiveness in Jesus.

How can I get involved?

  1. Pray for each country, that God would connect us with God’s prepared man of peace.
  2. Through this person, help organize a short-term mission team to teach in the various English Clubs at the main universities within each Western Balkan country.
  3. Pray that God will start small reproducing home / simple churches within each country.
  4. Help mentor / teach the local contacts in biblical principles and core values.  Ideally come and serve as an on-site missionary / mentor for developing leaders within the Balkans.