Fast facts about Macedonia
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|Currency:||Macedonian Denar (MKD)|
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Macedonia’s Christian History
Macedonia has a rich history of Christianity, starting when the Apostle Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” (Acts 16:9) Paul obeyed the “Macedonian Call” when he sailed for Philippi. However, with time, Christianity became stagnant because the Scriptures were never translated into the language of the Slavic common people. It wasn’t until the ninth century that Cyril and Methodius of Thessaloniki undertook the challenge of meeting this need among Slavic peoples when they started a Bible school to train Slavs in their own language. After the death of Cyril and Methodius, two of their students, Clement and Naum of Macedonia, returned to Macedonia in the city of Ohrid and continued the work by creating a new Slavic alphabet, called Cyrillic, in honor of their teacher Cyril. Clement translated the Scriptures into the language of the Macedonian Slavs and founded the Ohrid University. About 3,500 students were educated at Ohrid University. Many of them were ordained priests, deacons, and arch-deacons; and many were sent on missions among the Slavic peoples on the Balkan Peninsula, and even further abroad. A large number of them also reached far away Russia. At the end of the fourteenth century the Ottoman Turks invaded the Balkans and brought about 500 years of Muslim rule. Afterwards, Macedonia was under several decades of Communism during its time in the former Yugoslavia. In 1992, Macedonia became an independent Republic. However, as a people, they have lost most of their rich spiritual heritage.
Today, about two thirds of Macedonia’s population is Slavic Macedonian. They consider themselves Orthodox Christian but most of these are nominal in their beliefs and practices. The Orthodox Church is seen as the national church. To become a member of any other church (such as Protestant or Evangelical) is seen as unpatriotic, and these churches are even called “sects” or “cults”. The members are considered traitors to their homeland because to be Macedonian is to be “Orthodox”. Even though many of the people rarely attend Orthodox services, many converts to other churches face severe persecution and are ostracized by family and friends, and in a country that values family, this can be a burden hard to bear.
The other third of Macedonia’s population is Muslim. Most of Macedonia’s Muslims are Albanian, making up about one fourth of Macedonia’s population. The rest are Muslim Turks and Gypsies (Roma).
Only .5% of Macedonia’s population is Protestant/Evangelical Christian.
YWAM in Macedonia
YWAM SF Macedonia
|Official Base Name:||Youth With A Mission Macedonia|
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