Greece became the birthplace of Western Civilization and political thought nearly 2,500 years ago. Many monuments and structures of government and worship from ancient times still stand in this small, mountainous country of the Mediterranean Sea. Greece was home to many great thinkers, such as Socrates and Plato, and was the country of origin for what we know of as the 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 16:10, Greece was one of the first countries to be evangelized. According to 2002 statistics, 98 percent of Greeks belong to the Greek Orthodox Church. But the percentage of evangelical believers in Greece makes it one of the least evangelized countries in the 10-40 window. In the heart of Athens is the International Christian Fellowship (ICF), which also hosts a Greek church, an Eritrean church, and is partnered with an Arabic church through Humanitarian Initiative Bridges reaching many refugees in the greater Athens region.
The Retreat Center in Porto Rafti hosts church groups during the summer months. In Thessaloniki there has been a focus on university students and young adults through a church plant called Zoe. This emphasis has brought focus on the country's second largest city in which over 150,000 university students are educated from both Greece and Cyprus. This work which has been in operation since 2008 has ensured that the two most influential cities in the country have presence from AGWM.
The Apostolic Church of Pentecost reports the following statistics: 14 churches and outstations, 620 members and adherents and 27 ministers.
Additional Facts About Greece
- Capital: Athens
- Area: 50,949 square miles
- Population: 10.8 million
- Language: Greek
- Agriculture: Corn, cotton, grapes and raisins, olives, poultry, sheep, sugar beets, tobacco, and wheat.
- Industry/Mining: Chemicals, cement, cigarettes, clothing, fabricated metal products, petrochemicals, bauxite, chromate, iron ore, lignite, and magnetite.