Pioneering in the heart of Europe
Ministry opportunities in Slovenia
OM does not have a formal presence in Slovenia, but is partnering with a pioneering American family from a group called Macedonia Mission. Slovenia is at a geographical and cultural crossroads in southern Central Europe, being bordered by Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary. After WW2, Slovenia was part of Tito’s socialist Yugoslavia, and was always its most prosperous and politically liberal constituent republic. Slovenia declared independence in June 1991, which was achieved almost without bloodshed, in marked contrast to that of Croatia or Bosnia.
Historically, Slovenia has been a Catholic country, with a small Orthodox and Lutheran presence. However many people now identify with secular post-Christian values, or seek spiritual experience through New Age or Eastern religious beliefs.
In this pioneering situation, the primary focus is sports outreach. Many Slovenes love the great outdoors, and keeping fit, whether living in Ljubljana the capital, or the stunning Alpine mountains and many forests.
- OM’s partners use the gym-based sport of Crossfit as an opening for the Gospel, finding it very relevant for the young generation of Slovenes.
- Currently, they are serving as coaches in an existing Crossfit gym in Ljubljana and have a home gym in their garage where they disciple men and women in workout groups during the week and weekends.
- OM’s partners also serve in a local church plant in the northwest part of Slovenia
- They want to encourage local believers since the evangelical church is a tiny minority here.
How you can get involved:
- Pray for Christian sports training and events to give great opportunities to build relationships and share about Jesus.
- Pray for the small number of evangelical churches to have increased confidence is sharing their faith and to explore new ways of outreach, in this materialistic culture.
- Pray for a permanent location for OM’s partners to open a Crossfit gym near the church that they are members of
- Pray for the Slovene people to be softened toward the Gospel
More information about Slovenia
- Population: 2 million.
- Official languages: Slovenian
- State of economy: Economic and political progress was rapid throughout the 1990s, leading to membership of the European Union and NATO in 2004 – the first former Yugoslav republic to do so. Slovenia joined the Eurozone in 2007 but its export-focused economy was badly hit by the European financial crisis of 2012. Government plans for austerity measures were greeted by mass protests and recovery is slow.
- Religious make-up: 57.8% Catholic; 26% undecided/unstated; 10% atheist; 2.4% Muslim, 2.2% Orthodox; 0.1% Evangelical.
- State of the church: There are fewer than 2000 evangelical believers in the country, with almost 90% of municipalities lacking an evangelical presence.