International (MNN) — 2009 looks
to be a year of narrowed focus of outreach to Muslims for Greater Europe
Islam is already the
fastest-growing religion in Europe. Over the last 30 years, the number of
Muslims on the continent has tripled. Demographers
believe the trend will continue in the coming decades.
GEM President Henry Deneen says
they wanted to establish a "beachhead" for ministry in light of these reports.
Advances in the Muslim world
could start with non-Arab Muslims in places like Turkey. GEM's teams have established two "breakthrough" cities in Cologne, Germany and Sophia, Bulgaria. "We're seeing a corridor running from
Germany through Bulgaria down into Turkey. We're trying to focus prayer, people and resources on those two cities
to impact not only the indigenous European populations but also the Muslim
According to GEM, Muslims
in Europe have more freedom to explore Christ than in their home countries. Those who
have begun to follow Christ want to share their new hope with people in their
home countries, many of whom are living through unrest and are seeking
The time is ripe, but Deneen
acknowledges there are challenges to this strategy. It
takes time to build up the ministry.
He says you can pray in a number
of ways: "First of all, pray that we see
breakthroughs in Sophia and in Cologne. Second, pray that God would cause a
movement of rapidly-producing churches all across Europe, North Africa and
Turkey. Third, pray that financial resourcing
would be provided. Fourth, pray that we could move into a global prayer
that God will call more workers to work with Muslims and other immigrants in
this "corridor." Pray that His Spirit will be free to work in these communities
and draw them to Himself.