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
A Muslim father of three in Syria, Achmed, dreamt that God told him He wanted him to know Him. It was unforgettable but left him uneasy, since he had no idea what the Almighty meant. Taking his family out of war-torn Syria, to Madrid, Spain, Achmed’s journey as a refugee was only beginning.