As people across Romania and Bulgaria ushered in 2007 with fireworks celebrating their countries’ entrances into the European Union (EU), Bible League staff in those two countries started another year of ministry in prayer. EU membership will be a “double-edged sword” for Bible League ministry in these two Balkan nations, according to the Rev. Robert Martin, director of Central and Eastern Europe Ministries.
“Our ministries in Bulgaria and Romania will now have better access to printing and transport of printed materials from Western Europe,” he explained. “This may lower taxes and customs costs for imported scriptures. We now will also see a free flow of personnel across the border of Romania and Hungary. This will allow us to reach more people in the country’s Hungarian-speaking minority, especially in the Transylvania region.”
But Bible League also anticipates higher costs to do ministry and to acquire scriptures in Romania and Bulgaria, Martin said. “Wages, taxes and cost of goods all go up in the EU. Also, laws limiting the spread of the gospel are a real and present danger in a highly secularized European Union.”
Romania’s president hailed his country’s EU membership as an “enormous chance for future generations.” Bulgaria’s leader described EU entry as a “heavenly moment.” But Bible-believing Christians in this region know that only God’s Word holds the promise of true hope and heaven for their countries’ people. In fact, Martin foresees these Christians becoming salt and light to Western Europe, bringing new hope to a highly secularized EU. With more opportunities to head West, Martin notes that new Bible-believing churches are already springing up. These churches and more may spark a revival among dying churches across Western Europe.
Used within Bible League’s scripture placement and church planting programs, God’s Word is essential in enlarging God’s kingdom in Romania and Bulgaria. Last year partner churches in these two countries reported a total of more than 104,000 Bible study completions and welcomed more than 13,250 new members.
This year marks the beginning of Bible League’s fourteenth year of sending God’s Word into action across Romania, and its twelfth year in Bulgaria. During this time, partnership with local churches across those two countries has resulted in 1,586 new churches established, nearly 79,000 baptisms and more than 740,000 Bible study completions.
For more information about Bible League’s ministry in Central and Eastern Europe, go to www.BibleLeague.org.
(This article was edited from a Bible League news release.)