The Republic of Moldova is a country of 4.5 million and is roughly the size of Maryland. Their official language is Moldovan, but most people speak Moldovan and Russian. Situated between Romania and Ukraine, they are said to be one of, if not, the poorest country in Europe. Although communism fell in many European countries in 1989, Moldova was a member of the USSR until 1991. After declaring their independence, Moldova became a parliamentary republic.
Even though modern-day Moldova is well known for its wine, causing a rise in tourism, almost half of the economy is supported by agriculture, and many people are finding it hard to get by financially. Consequently, nearly half of Moldova’s population is working outside of its borders. This means that many Moldovan youth are left without a two-parent home, if they have parents at all, and the population as a whole is left with feelings of hopelessness. This has led to a rise in desperate young people submitting themselves to human and drug trafficking.
More than ninety percent of the Moldovan people claim Eastern Orthodox faith, though few attend church, and many have never heard the Gospel.
Under the Soviet Union, the activities of the Orthodox Church (and all religions) were strictly limited, and at times the ultimate goal was the destruction of all religious activity. Most Orthodox churches and monasteries in Moldova were demolished or converted to other uses, and clergy were sometimes punished for leading services. But, many believers continued to practice their faith in secret.
Today, Moldovans are spiritually open, and evangelical churches are growing despite occasional persecution and increasing poverty. Pray for revival among the young people of Moldova, that they would profess Jesus Christ as Lord; pray they will be discipled and grow into godly leaders who will lead healthy churches and reach many young people with the Gospel.
The Lord has given us new opportunity to reach the youth of Moldova with the Gospel message. Josiah Venture’s ministry effort in Moldova is being launched by one Moldovan man named Ion. He is a soccer coach and trainer that is developing a Josiah Venture Edge Sports evangelistic soccer league. Please pray for Ion as he speaks with churches and seeks to inspire them to look outside of their church walls to the very plentiful harvest of youth who need Jesus.