Calm in Greece following days of violence

By December 12, 2008

Greece (MNN) — Police battled protesters in
Athens last week while many called for the
conservative government to quit to end the worst civil unrest in
decades.

Fresh violence was triggered by the shooting of a 15-year-old
boy. Protests reignited after his funeral, triggering Greece's worst riots in decades, inflamed by
discontent over government and a slowing economy.

Several successive days of violence appear to be coming to an
end.

Tasos Ioanidis with AMG International says the teen's death was the
last straw. "There have been other scandals involving the government. There
has also been a big financial crisis, plus there have been on-going issues in
the area of education. So the students that are primarily involved in this
rioting right now are frustrated for a number of reasons."

Ioanidis says those issues, coupled with scandal in the
Orthodox Church, have prepared hearts for the Gospel. "People look for something that can provide them a lasting peace, and they are definitely looking for answers. In the midst of all the senseless violence, there is opportunity for ministry."

AMG has Christian bookstores, a ministry center, a hospital and more, says Ioanidis. "AMG has a number of bookstores in a number of the cities where the rioting has been going on. But we praise the Lord that our bookstores have not been affected. In fact, we've had a number of people
come through. and we've had a number of opportunities to share the Gospel."

However, the First Evangelical Church of Athens has been affected. "There has been damage to their facility. Windows have been broken. The cross on the outside has been damaged. They are in a tense situation."

Ask God to provide opportunities for Christians to talk about the message of hope and peace.

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