Europe (MNN) — More than half of all eligible voters in the European Union showed up at the polls last week for parliamentary elections – the highest turnout in 20 years. In this article about election results, BBC News describes a “power shift” underway in the EU’s legislative body.
Immigration was an issue of top concern heading into these elections, InfoMigrants.net describes. Some parties and individuals promised “drastic change” to how EU countries receive refugees and migrants. Between 2015 and early 2016, approximately 1.2 million refugees had arrived on European shorelines; today, an estimated 570,000 remain.
While decision-makers debate the fate of migrants, God is on the move. Prayercast’s Chris Ruge says today’s “Love Muslims” video highlights spiritual changes underway among displaced Muslims in Europe.
“God is moving in powerful ways. There are churches in Europe – historical churches – that were dying and empty,… filled now on a weekly basis with former Muslims who are coming to Christ.”
How citizens and churches see displaced Muslims
Last year, a study by the Pew Research Center revealed widespread public favor for taking in refugees and majority disapproval of how EU leaders were handling the crisis. Regardless of public opinion, “fears about migration continue to divide EU member states more than almost any other issue,” the European Council on Foreign Relations observes.
Believers’ mixed responses to the displacement crisis seem to reflect those of wider society. “The responses across Europe truly run the gamut,” Ruge says. Some churches and ministries react positively by “loving and serving and reaching out to this Muslim community.”
At the same time, “We see churches who are very resistant, who are very suspicious, and [struggle] with some of the changes in their community that they see as a result of this.
“The response to this humanitarian crisis and influx of Muslims across Europe has been very diverse.”
Prayercast’s “Love Muslims” campaign seeks to unify the Body of Christ in Europe and beyond. Awareness is the first step.
How to recognize Gospel opportunities
In this chart, Axios.com reveals a staggering trend of forced displacement between 1951 and 2017. Gospel opportunities are the “silver lining” of crises like these. Instead of traveling to a distant mission field, God is bringing the mission field to us.
“The people who have been most ‘unreachable’ with the Gospel, and – in some cases – the most challenging to go and serve where they live,… God is bringing them now to the places where we live,” Ruge observes. It’s a “historically unprecedented” opportunity, he adds.
Ask God to make you aware of specific opportunities around you. Join Prayercast’s “Love Muslims” campaign to pray for the Muslim world.
“[Pray] that displaced Muslims across Europe would have soft hearts to hear this great, amazing news of the Gospel that they’ve not had the opportunity to hear before,” Ruge requests.
Pray also for the Church throughout Europe.
“[Pray] that they would have His heart for the lost He’s brought around them, that He would provide for all of their needs, and that He would use them in powerful ways to shine His light into people’s lives who need to hear it (the Good News).”
Header image courtesy of Maria Teneva via Unsplash.