Political and military changes in Serbia and around it in the last 20 years, especially the dissolving of the former Yugoslavia and the subsequent civil wars and conflicts in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo have left the protestant minority churches with many open questions. One of them is issue of the identity crisis. During the breakup years state-run propaganda, in an attempt to discredit the ‘otherness’ and bring in unity needed for war times (but with wrong motives and methods), systematically fed public opinion with horrifying stories of youth being lured into various sects and ‘pseudo-Christian’ churches, as they called mostly all Protestant/Evangelical denominations in Serbia. An honest account on subjects “Where do Protestants come from?” and “Who are the Evangelicals?” is long due, since people got confused.
On the other hand, the development of Protestantism in Serbia did not begin with the latest ‘arrivals’ of the Western short-term missionaries. Its origins could be traced back to XII century, when Bogomils were persecuted for their faith and non-submissiveness to the state church, and then passing by the Hutterites and Hussites around the times of Reformation to come to a great age of the British Bible society work and missionaries-for-life coming to evangelize in the Balkans, to the development of only-in-Serbia specific Mennonite/Baptist group called ‘nazareni,’ and others.
We tend to forget all that for the sake of a latest ministry trend, and/or for a little peace from the state supported and media savvy hooligans harassing young believers and frightening God-fearing people. Being a Bible believing Christian in Serbia is never easy, but has been an old ‘thing.’
This is why it is important to have a steady, long-lasting ministry presence in the region, just alike TWR, which is regularly broadcasting messages of hope, peace and love; especially in the last ten years. I feel sometimes that messages are stemming straight from Jesus’ heart (yes, He does speak Serbian too). www.twr-serbia.org helps listeners find their true identity in Jesus.
Who is my Brother, Lord?