Greece (MNN) — Greeks elected a new leader this week in snap elections. Many hope he can help the country recover from its fiscal crisis.
Speaking to MNN from Greece, AMG International’s Tasos Ioannidis says this leadership change could be good for believers. “If the economy starts doing better, that’s going to affect the Greek Church,” he explains.
“[When] people start doing better, it should provide more resources for the Church to do its mission and to reach the community.”
Who’s the new guy?
Greeks took to the polls on Sunday in a snap election determined last month. More about that here. “The catalyst that led to the snap elections was the poll results for the gap in the European elections that took place in May,” Ioannidis explains.
“Because [previous government officials] did very poorly in the European elections… they felt that they had lost the public’s conscience. That’s why they called the election sooner than [it] would have been normally.”
Yesterday, in his first Cabinet meeting, the new Greek Prime Minister — Kyriakos Mitsotakis –promised to make Greece’s government more efficient. He also promised tax relief for businesses and citizens alike.
“Kyriakos Mitsotakis is very well educated; he holds degrees from Stanford from Harvard. He’s has had a successful career in finance… [and] seems to be well-qualified for this position,” notes Ioannidis.
However, “only time will tell; this is the first time he’s serving in this capacity,” Ioannidis adds.
What does it mean for the Church?
Greece is struggling to recover from its 2009 fiscal crisis and crippling austerity measures. Read this to understand the Greece debt crisis. Refugees and migrants continue pouring into the country while top professionals and thought-leaders pour out.
“Hundreds of thousands of educated people have left Greece,” Ioannidis confirms. Additionally, “the Greek Church has seen about 50% of its income go away during this crisis.
“There has been this sentiment of frustration and sadness and despair for years. Now, it seems to me that people are ready to turn the page.”
As Greeks pray for a new chapter, ministries like AMG pray for more support.
“There are still a lot of people, refugees [who need help],” says Ioannidis. “There [are] a lot of opportunities, and this is the time to do it (ministry).”
Greece is surrounded by three large bodies of water: the Ioanian Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Aegean Sea. As a result, it received many of the desperate people crossed these waters during the 2014-2015 refugee crisis. Some still attempt the perilous journey today.
“[If] the economy starts to do better, people with more money invest in reaching out [to] people who come to Greece… the refugees flow from Italy, Africa, Asia.”
As we mentioned earlier this year, AMG’s work continues in Greece despite the country’s ongoing financial problems. AMG helps refugees and Greeks alike through its St. Luke’s Hospital. Ministry centers like the CosmoVision Center enable missionaries and local believers to reach more people for Christ. You can support AMG’s efforts here.
Most importantly, pray. Pray for Greek believers and ministries as they wait to see what the future holds. Ask the Lord to supply all of AMG’s financial needs so it can reach Greeks and refugees for Christ. Find more prayer needs here.
“Let’s be praying that the economy in Greece will start showing signs of improvement, that the Church will remain strong, [and] it will continue to carry out this mission to impact the people in society…. and also present the worldview of…there is hope in Jesus,” requests Ioannidis.
“That is the only source of hope for eternity, no matter what the economy [is like].”
Header image courtesy of Wallpapercave.com