The two major denominations of religion are Macedonian Orthodox at 64% and Islam at 33%. Protestant Evangelicals make up less than 1% of the population.
TEN partners with churches and organisations in Macedonia who work amidst the widespread poverty and unemployment. Macedonian partners are supported by TEN as they serve the poor and share the love of Jesus. Some of the ways they currently help include leading children’s and youth work, assisting migrants, distributing food to all regardless of race or ethnicity, evangelism and church-planting.
Many churches are largely empty and questions have been raised regarding the number of traditions and lack of spirituality found in the Orthodox Church. Pray for revival as new evangelical churches are planted in towns and cities across Macedonia.
Unemployment in Macedonia remains high despite signs of growth in the economy.This has a dreadful effect on the welfare of many residents and especially the large Roma communities and migrants. Please pray for a dramatic change in the employment sector and growth in the tourism sector.
Pray for an improvement in relations between Macedonia and Greece regarding EU entry and the issue of the country’s adopted name.
Pray for those bereaved and made homeless following the August 2016 floods in Skopje and the surrounding districts.
Ethnic diversity in Macedonia sadly resembles separation rather than harmony. Pray for the government to sensitively seek peace and justice for all and to act with integrity.
One-third of the Macedonian population is Albanian (mainly in the northwest of the country). Many began life in Macedonia as refugees. Please pray for peaceful integration and tensions to ease.
Please pray for the churches in Macedonia as they seek to make God known amidst racial, religious and financial tensions. Give them courage, obedience and discernment to follow God where He leads.
Macedonia was entangled in the Balkan Wars as well as both World Wars. Captured by Serbia in 1912, it formed as part of Yugoslavia post WWI. Macedonia had hoped for independence following WWII but the Tito-Stalin split put an end to such hopes.
The end of the Greek Civil War sparked bad relations between Macedonia and Greece as many Macedonians who had fought with Greeks as part of the resistance movement were then denied access to live in Greece.
Macedonia negotiated the only peaceful withdrawal of the Yugoslav army from any of the former republics and gained independence in January 1992. They were forced to be officially named the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in order to be admitted to the UN in April 1993. This is because Greece claimed ‘Macedonia’ implies territorial claim over Aegean Macedonia, which they had obtained in 1913. The name has hitherto scuppered their plans to join the EU despite having been shortlisted.
Macedonia is severely hampered by their alarming unemployment rate. Attempts to rectify this with structural reforms are a slow process. Infrastructure is largely obsolete and a lack of job opportunities sees many of the educated and skilled Macedonians leave the country in search of employment. The government want to join the EU in the belief that a successful application would allow them to improve the large number of homes and neighbourhoods that have appalling living conditions, and also to improve access to foreign trade.