Impressions of Serbia

Serbia Worship Serbia Worship #2

I am in Serbia. My first time in the country. I’m here with several CRM staff who live and minister just northward in Hungary.

Stepping across the boarder into this ancient land I had flashbacks of living in Ukraine and time spent in Russia, Romania and other portions of the former Soviet bloc. The scars from the war after the breakup of Yugoslavia and the NATO bombing campaign are mostly erased in the physical landscape but not quite so in the social psyche.

Nominally Serbian Orthodox, the vast bulk of the population is oblivious to religion and secularized. The Protestant presence is a tiny minority. One Serbian leader commented that there were more believers in Timisoara, Romania than in the whole nation of Serbia. The large city in which we were had only five churches (across a broad theological spectrum) of an evangelical nature.

In light of these realities, the gathering pictured above was quite remarkable. It was a day-long celebration at the end of a nationwide 78 days of prayer and fasting that took place throughout the Protestant churches …equivalent to the same duration of the NATO bombing. Seven different worship teams and believers from throughout the country gathered for the day and we had the privilege of being guests at the gathering. What Serbian believers may lack in numbers, they make up for in passion.

The contribution of the CRM staff here, as in many places around the world, is to graciously encourage, coach, and mentor leadership for the church that is and for the church that needs to emerge. This effort in Serbia has been initiated by the CRM team in Hungary and they are doing are a good job of building relationships of trust upon which such ministry can be built.

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