More than 130 years ago, missionaries from the United States laid the cornerstone for Protestant work in the territory of what is now Macedonia. In this work, they were helped by former Macedonian freedom fighters, who, upon their release from a prison in Thessaloniki in the Ottoman Empire, were converted and returned to help spread the gospel.
But the Methodist mission would not have developed so well without the faith and courage of Bible Women. Despite poor traveling conditions and threats of violence, these Bible Women preached the gospel, taught women to read and write, organized sewing groups and nursing courses, and provided help and service where needed. Congregations began to spring up.
Today, the Republic of Macedonia officially recognizes the Church. Challenged by years of political unrest, war, refugees, and severe unemployment, Methodist congregations are with great dedication and faith to counter this need with words of hope and deeds of love. The UMC has built a social service center in Strumica, runs a Meals on Wheels program to provide the elderly with a warm meal daily, and offers assistance for children and youth with special needs. Other ministries include evangelization programs and work with the Roma people. It also offers assistance for children and youth with special needs.
Active and diverse dialogue with other faiths--including the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, and Jewish and Muslim religious communities--is an important contribution towards a common, peaceful future of the country. Macedonia with its neighboring country Serbia form one annual conference with two districts.
Global Ministries is helping support the work of the Church in Macedonia through the In Mission Together partnership program, and support for a National-in-Mission and a Global Ministries missionary.
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