Slovakia: WHY MY PEOPLE NEED THE GOSPEL
Peter Malik | JUNE 13, 2019 | 2 MIN READ
During June, SOLA will be publishing a series, “Why My People Need the Gospel” to highlight the global need for the good news of Jesus Christ.
To pray for God's kingdom work more effectively, we must learn about those we are praying for so that we can pray more specifically and intentionally. Therefore we will be publishing short guides written by people of those countries and cultures so we can exhort the body to pray for all nations. Please note that these responses are just snapshots of the complex socio-political issues of the countries and are not all-encompassing.
We hope this series will encourage and challenge you to pray globally for all nations to be united under the rule of Christ.
Slovakia is a landlocked country in central Europe. It is a relatively new country, being formed out of the dissolution Czechoslovakia in 1993, which split into Slovakia and the Czech Republic. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the west, and the Czech Republic to the northwest. The majority of the country is Roman Catholic (statistics have the population from 60-70%).
Peter Malik, who comes from Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, shares with us about his country.
SOLA: What are some of the major political struggles of Slovakia?
Peter Malik: Government corruption, populism, and the rise of politically accepted extremist groups.
SOLA: What are some of the major cultural struggles of the Slovak people?
PM: Overcoming post-communist mentality, the lack of solid 'middle class', and apathy.
SOLA: What are some of the biggest barriers to Christianity for Slovakia?
PM: The fact that over 60% of citizens belong to the Roman Catholic Church often gives the false impression (even to the members themselves) that having been born Catholic equals to being a Christian. In addition, the smaller Christian groups are then perceived as “sectarians.”
For example, many people use the words Baptist and Jehovah’s Witness interchangeably, not being aware there's a difference between the two. Finally, evangelicalism is still very much a marginal phenomenon. There are about 10,000 evangelicals in Slovakia, compared with more than 20,000 Jehova’s Witnesses.
SOLA: How can we pray for Slovakia and the Slovak people?
PM: Pray that evangelicals preach the Gospel with clarity and, most importantly, in the power of the Holy Spirit, so that people come to know Christ not as some sort of cultural symbol, but as their living Saviour. Pray, too, that there's a resurgence of interest to enter full-time ministry and pursue theological education.
SOLA: How did you or your family come to know Christ?
PM: I grew up in a believing Roman Catholic household, but became an evangelical Christian at grammar school, in a students' Bible study group. We also met several American missionaries who showed us that passion for Christ is a good thing and a Christian life can be full of joy!
Peter Malik attends Zbor Bratskej Jednoty Baptistov in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia.