The official (English) name of Greece is the Hellenic Republic. (Hellas is the Greek word for Greece.) 10 million persons live in this ancient, famous, and influential land, one third in the capital city of Athens. Thessalonica is the second city, with a million inhabitants. Four centuries under the rule of the Ottoman Turks ended in 1827, and yet not all has been stable since the time of independence. There were two civil wars and two military dictatorships in the 20th century, not to mention the serious tensions with neighboring Turkey over the status of Cyprus. Greece borders not only Turkey, but also Albania, Macedonia, and Bulgaria. The official language is Greek, though 13 other languages are also spoken in the Hellenic Republic. Annual income per person is about $11,000.

95% of the land claims to be Christian, with the Greek Orthodox (ironically based in Istanbul, Turkey) amounting to 88% of all believers. Even though Greece was the first European land to receive the gospel (Acts 16), Christianity is in a deep slump, as the nation becomes more and more secularized. Would you please say a prayer for Greece today?

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