Greece became the birthplace of Western civilization and political thought nearly 2500 years ago. Many ancient structures of government and worship still stand in this small, mountainous country on the Mediterranean Sea. Greece was home to many great thinkers, such as Socrates and Plato, and was the country of origin for our modern Olympic Games. Greece was part of several major empires until winning its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829.
Greece’s population is mostly involved in exporting, agriculture, and fishing. It has one of the largest merchant fleets on earth.
The Church Then and Now
According to Acts 16, Greece was one of the first countries to be evangelized. Statistics state that 81–90 percent of Greeks belong to the Greek Orthodox Church. The percentage of evangelical believers in Greece shows it as one of the least-evangelized countries in the 10/40 Window.
In the heart of Athens is International Christian Fellowship (ICF), which also hosts a Greek and an Eritrean church and partners with an Arabic church through a refugee ministry called Humanitarian Initiative BRIDGES. In Thessaloniki, the country’s second-largest city, a church called Zoe focuses on the city’s 150,000-plus university students and young adults. Thus, Greece’s most influential cities have AGWM presence. In addition, a retreat center in Porto Rafti hosts church groups during the summer months.
The Apostolic Church of Pentecost reports the following statistics: 14 churches and outstations, 620 members and adherents, and 27 ministers.
Additional Facts About Greece
Area: 50,949 square miles
Population: 10.8 million
Agriculture: wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, olives, tomatoes, wine, tobacco, potatoes; beef, dairy products
Industry: tourism, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products; mining, petroleum