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Christians Hope to Win Souls in 2004???

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  • byakimov@csc.com.au
    Published by Charisma, August 18, 2003 Christians Hope to Win Souls in 2004 Olympic Games Intercessors aim to pull down the  spiritual stronghold over
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 28, 2003
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      Published by Charisma, August 18, 2003

      Christians Hope to Win Souls in 2004 Olympic Games Intercessors aim
      to pull down the  'spiritual stronghold over Greece'

      World-class athletes will be going for the gold next summer when
      the Olympic Games return to Greece, but believers hope to win souls
      in Athens.

      Thousands of Christians plan to use the event to evangelize a
      spiritually needy country, whose language God chose for
      communicating the gospel to non-Jews.

      Twenty centuries after the apostle Paul made history-making mission
      trips to Thessaloniki (Thessalonica) and Korinthos (Corinth) and
      eternalized the ancient cities through his letters to the
      Christians there, Greece today is anything but a Christian country.

      Though 98 percent of the population belong to the Greek Orthodox
      Church, evangelical, Pentecostal and charismatic churches comprise
      some 0.14 percent of the population, or a mere 15,000 people out of
      10.5 million.

      But as the birthplace of the Olympic Games, Greece is poised for a
      spiritual awakening, Christian leaders told "Charisma" magazine in
      a forthcoming report on evangelism plans for Athens in 2004.

      "The international church will focus on Greece, and there will be a
      global wave of prayer for our country that will release a wave of
      revival," predicts Johnathan Macris, a high-profile Greek
      Protestant and director of Hellenic Ministries.

      "I aim at mobilizing 100,000 committed intercessors," he adds. "It
      is time for the Western church [in Europe and North America] to
      return a measure of the blessing it has received by way of Greece
      and through the Greek language."

      Macris claims the Olympics are critical not only to saturating
      Greece with the gospel -- in August thousands of believers will
      come to Greece for evangelistic outreaches -- but also to reaching
      the 1.2 billion Muslims in the Asian countries that lie between
      Athens and Beijing, the host city of the 2008 Olympics.

      Macris views the Olympics as a step toward a unified worship of the
      Antichrist as outlined in the biblical book of Revelation, which
      was written on the Greek island of Patmos. The worship of idols,
      and of man, is a fundamental element of the world's most famous
      sporting event.

      Macris believes the 2004 Games will be the largest event of idol
      worship in world history to date. But he says God's plan is to
      mobilize an army of intercessors to pull down the "[spiritual]
      stronghold over Greece" for the purpose of opening the door to
      evangelism in the country.

      Macris and local church leaders, though, anticipate a spiritual
      battle. An anti-proselytism law is in place, but church leaders and
      missionaries say the government currently takes little action. The
      general mentality of the Greek Orthodox Church and the public
      remains strongly anti-Protestant.

      "The real problem is that the Greek are very skeptical toward
      non-Orthodox churches," Timotheos Antoniadis of Thessaloniki, who
      pastors a typically small Protestant church, explains. "The
      perception of Protestants as a threat is a [spiritual] wall that we
      need to breech!"

      Antoniadis' congregation attempts to break this stereotype by
      reaching out to the needy, the poor, the prostitutes and the
      immigrants. In the last four years, the average Sunday attendance
      at his church has doubled from 20 to 40. Most of the new attendees,
      including Russian-speaking converts, belong to socially
      marginalized groups.

      Read the full report on evangelism plans for the 2004 Olympic Games
      in the September issue of "Charisma," out now.

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