In the Albanian-speaking countries of southeast Europe, the Lord is doing a work perhaps not seen since the earliest days of Christianity. Increasing numbers of young adults are expressing a hunger for Jesus Christ. To support this remarkable trend, The Gospel Coalition is excited to launch its newest international chapter, TGC Albanian.
For 40 years, under the reign of Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha, Albania was one of the most repressive societies in the world, the first country ever officially to declare itself atheistic. Christians and Muslims alike were persecuted. Many were executed.
In my recent visits to Albania, the number 16 has been repeated over and over again to me by brothers and sisters in Christ. That was the number of known evangelical Christians in the entire country 30 years ago, at the end of the communist era.
The Lord has turned a grim past into an exciting present. There are now thousands of first-generation Albanian Christians. What impresses me most is their desire to grow theologically and bring the good news of Christ to their neighbors. It’s a joy to minister alongside these passionate believers.
As you would expect, the enemy is not pleased by this awakening and is attempting to sow seeds of discord and false teaching in the nascent Christian community. By God’s grace, TGC is responding with a biblical and a Christ-centered gospel. Seven godly indigenous leaders have formed the first TGC Albanian Council. A TGC conference was held in Durrës in May 2019, where Colin Smith (founding Council member of TGC and senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Illinois) challenged us powerfully to be bold in our evangelistic proclamation. Then, last week, we launched TGC Albanian’s website.
Deep gratitude goes to Julius Kim (TGC president), Jairo Namnun (TGC director for international coalitions), Seth Magnuson (TGC senior director of web and events), and J. D. Gilmore (TGC Europe) for their global vision and keen interest in the work of Christ among Albanians.
Please join us in praying that God would multiply what he’s begun in this region. There are upwards of 8 million Albanians on the Balkan Peninsula (the countries of Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia) and worldwide (in the Albanian diaspora).
May the Lord use TGC to draw many more people to Christ in this spiritually needy, but awakening corner of southeast Europe!