Population: 10.6 million (2012)
Official language: Czech
Major religion: None
IFES movement: Univerzitni Krestanske Hnuti (UKH)
The Czech Republic is one of the most developed democratic and economically prosperous post-communist countries. Most Czechs would admit to believing in something; however only 2,5% are evangelical Christians and 10% Roman Catholics (2011 data). According to a European Union study only 19% of Czech citizens believe there is a God (the second lowest rate among European Union countries) whereas 50% believe there is some sort of spirit or life force.
- 9 groups in 30 tertiary institutions
- 3 staff workers and 7 volunteers
- no graduate or high school ministry
- largest group is 20 students in Ostrava; smallest in Ústí nad Labem (5 members)
UKH has a small but active presence in Czech universities. There has been a realisation in the last year or so that smaller, more local evangelistic events help Czech students, who can be quite passive, to ‘own’ the outreach and invite their friends along. The movement has also focussed on training group leaders; resourcing them, encouraging them, supporting them and providing opportunities for leaders from different cities to meet together. This has started to bear fruit already: following their national conference in September 2011 one student started a new group on her campus. Looking ahead to their next big event, a good student team was put together to prepare the first Prague University Mission Week in November 2014.
View from the inside
Tomas Uher is the General Secretary of UKH. He believes student ministry ‘is the most strategic ministry in our country’. Thomas recalls the IFES European Evangelism Conferences ‘Because of Love’ (2008) and ‘Undivided’ (2012) as being instrumental in reinforcing his vision and desire to serve students.
Philippians 2:6-12 are verses that have been at the heart of Tomas’ ministry, helping him to focus on the person of Jesus and his example for us: ‘Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.’’
- for students to be active in one-to-one evangelism and to have courage in following up;
- for a new set of volunteers after five of current team members leave in July 2014;
- for preparations for the Prague Mission in November and for students to make most of this opportunity to draw their friends to Jesus.