Local Missionaries in Spain
Historical hub of the Counter-Reformation and now largely secular, Spain and its people can be hostile toward evangelical Christianity at times. While a majority of Spaniards identify as Roman Catholic, most rarely attend Mass. Hence paradoxically, the opposition that local missionaries most often face is a deep-seated secular worldview held by people who are intensely loyal in name to a religious institution they rarely heed.
Of the 77.5 percent of people in Spain who identify as Christian, nearly 89 percent are Roman Catholic. Of the overall population, 19.4 percent say they are non-religious, with some studies showing the percentage actually ranges from 20 to 27 percent. Immigration from northern Africa is largely responsible for the 2.6 percent of the population that is Muslim.
Spain is one of the few European countries that still officially accepts refugees, and local missionaries are welcoming those from Syria and other parts of the Middle East and Africa. Many of these refugees are Muslims, and workers are building relationships with them as they extend aid such as food packets, medical care and clothing. Local missionaries do much to help them relocate and assimilate into the country by offering counseling, language and job skills training, and assistance in finding housing.
Workers also provide aid to Christian converts from Islam who have been persecuted and to the workers who have suffered for leading them to faith in Christ.
Among the refugees that local missionaries are helping are Muslim women who have been trafficked, abused or widowed at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS), including those who have children as a result of the abuse. Local missionaries seek assistance to provide shelter and care for them as well as compassionate aid for abused youth.
Sources: Joshua Project, Ministry Portfolio, Wikipedia, Impact Survey
How to Pray for
- Pray that refugees from Muslim families who have trusted in Christ for salvation will be kept safe from harm, and that the Lord would also protect and strengthen workers who are leading them to Christ.
- Pray that refugees will see the love of Christ in the aid and orientation they receive to begin their lives anew, and that they will bring knowledge of Him to others in Spain, or to those at their ultimate destinations or to relatives and friends in their countries of origin.
- Pray that house churches planted in Spain among refugees and nationals would flourish against the forces of secularism and a post-Christian mentality.
More stories from Spain
Minutes after a worker shared the gospel on a prison patio, an 18-year-old inmate told him he didn’t believe in God. They began a conversation, the inmate received a Bible, and after further visits over the next month, the young convict received Christ and His grace.
Local missionaries in Europe are counseling and praying with refugees from Ukraine traumatized by the invasion of their homeland. Besides needing food and other aid, many refugees have suffered the shocks of bombing and artillery fire since Russia invaded in late February. “Pray for their mothers and grandmothers who suffer because they have lost their loved ones, or have their children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters or fathers in the war,” the leader of a local ministry said.
Emotionally shattered while recovering at a local ministry’s care center in southern Spain, Natasha prayed after losing the life she’d had in Ukraine’s second largest city.
Leaving her husband behind to defend against the Russian invasion, she and her son had walked most of the nearly 700 miles from their home in Kharkiv to the border, and from there had made it to Spain. “When they left their city, they were only carrying what they were wearing and a backpack each, so during the journey many times they thought they were going to die of the cold,” the ministry leader said.