Europe is politically, culturally and religiously highly diverse. As a continent it is facing crises at all levels:

  • economic: despite small signs of economic recovery, there is still high youth and graduate unemployment (especially in Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain)
  • political: extreme right and left parties are gaining more ground
  • social: society is becoming increasingly individualist and consumerist, with people living more isolated lives and the gap between rich and poor continues to widen
  • environmental: the continent is struggling to meet consumer demands while at the same time caring for the world
  • religious: Europe is turning ever further away from the Judeo-Christian worldview which was pivotal to the formation of its culture and society. Secularism and atheism are strong voices which can cause believers to be afraid to speak up about Jesus.


Student ministry in Europe

Tor Erling Fagermoen is the new Regional Secretary for Europe and he heads up a small team who support the 40 movements in the region. Their vision is to see students built into communities of disciples, transformed by the gospel and impacting the university, the church and society for the glory of God. 

Within Europe there are founder IFES movements, pioneering situations and everything in between.

UCCF Britain is by far the largest movement, but most European countries have established student movements. Luxemburg and Malta are being pioneered as we speak and the movements in Estonia, Lithuania, Croatia, Slovenia and GBU Belgium are currently small and fragile.

The greatest strength of students in Europe is their resourcefulness and readiness to engage with student culture. Students are uniquely placed to bring light and hope to their fellow students by sharing the compelling message of the gospel and embodying the love of Christ in authentic student communities. A recent development is the huge influx of international students, which is providing amazing opportunities to reach students from countries which have been closed to the gospel for many years.


Images of Europe

At a recent gathering for General Secretaries across the continent, Jeff Fountain from Hope for Europe shared three images of Europe with us:

Wilted flowers

Cut off from our Judeo-Christian roots, the continent is dying out at both ends with high levels of abortion, increasing euthanasia and with birth rates well below sustainability.

A field of rocks

Seed cannot grow in a field which has nothing but junk and old roots. The field needs to be ploughed up.

Squatters’ house

Living in a house without paying the rent: our freedoms are taken for granted.


Do join us in praying for the student movements in Europe, as they share a message of hope in Christ, transformation through the Spirit and a life lived with purpose for the Kingdom of God.


Please pray:

  • for the movements, to be light and salt in some challenging contexts;
  • for creative ways to reach out to the campuses;
  • for more lives to be touched and changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Dec 15

Mission Snow

Posted by Penny Vinden

Christmas time! Around the world the hearts and minds of many people focus on buying presents and eating special food. Some people sing of snow, Santa Claus, stars in the east and a baby in a manger – many without believing any of it. But there is a group of students from KFS Denmark who are focusing on something quite different this year. They’re getting ready to go to Greenland in January.

Oct 06

What you’re thirsty for - does it last?

Posted by Gabi Nobre

Daniela* wasn’t interested in exploring the Bible. She had come to church once or twice at the invitation of a friend. But she was very blunt with him – she didn’t want to talk more.

Yet when we met her on a bus one day, we chatted for a few minutes and then she said ‘Can I ask something?’

‘Sure’ I said. 

‘How do you study the Bible? Because I have one at home and I am curious!’

Sep 14

Prayer spaces – finding God in quiet places

Posted by Penny Vinden

What is a prayer space? It is a room or other space that is designed to be a creative place to pray. It can include prayer stations where students explore various aspects of prayer or meditate about different topics.

Prayer spaces expand our notion of what it means to pray. They are places to listen, to think, to quiet oneself. And in that stillness, students are finding God.

Aug 25

Mission in Europe and Eurasia: obstacles overcome

Posted by Penny Vinden

‘There was an atmosphere of fear and doubt among the local team.’

‘There is widespread disillusionment with the Orthodox church, but also a suspicion of evangelicals as something of a western import.’

‘We tried very hard to organize a debate at the university but we were not welcomed.’

Jul 07

Brexit: independence, freedom and loving your neighbour

Posted by Penny Vinden

July is a big month for independence. From Cape Verde to Columbia, Maldives to Mongolia, Somalia to South Korea – no less than 22 countries celebrate becoming independent nations this month.

Sometimes independence can be a good thing. For many countries it has meant freedom from oppression; for others a chance to ‘grow up’ and take one’s place in the world.

Jun 23

Powerful prayer, cleansing prayer

Posted by Penny Vinden

‘I need to leave this place now and stop praying.’

These were the words of a new Christian from a Muslim background as two IFES staff were praying with him. This new Christian was experiencing headaches, paralysing shame and fear, and was unable to say the name of Jesus aloud. The situation was one which many of us never experience and some may find bizarre. But it was happening at this IFES conference in a sub-region of Europe.

Jun 02

Non-Christian teenagers in Norway are discovering the Bible

Posted by Penny Vinden

Ole Martin and Jørgen were the first two students who showed any interest in a Bible reading ‘event’. Now this has become the first Christian group for Laget Norway at Fjell Secondary School. And they’re not even Christians!

How did this happen?

It was the idea of one teacher, Sverre Kristoffersen, a man who does not let failure stop him. He had tried to start a Laget group three years earlier. No one came.

May 25

Who will you be? Bulgarian students ask a question that changes us all

Posted by Penny Vinden

Who am I? What kind of person do I want to become? What character qualities would I like to develop? These are questions many of us ask at different points in our lives. But they are perhaps especially significant when we are students – experiencing new things, learning, growing and finding our place in the world.

May 19

Refugees: how should we react?

Posted by Tom De Craene

Wherever you look – on TV, in the newspapers, through personal stories or on Facebook – you’re constantly confronted with big and complex issues like human trafficking, the refugee crisis, migration and secularism. We all try to form an opinion based on this information but are often dragged into a whirlpool of beliefs and emotions.

Apr 07

Sex – only for marriage?

When LKSB Lithuania decided to tackle a topic that most people don’t openly discuss, they weren’t sure what reaction they would get. Akvilė, LKSB student coordinator, told me what happened last February when they asked a Christian couple to give a lecture on sexual purity.

As soon as we created an event on Facebook, thousands of people became interested and more than a thousand said they will come.


IFES Europe

Tor Erling Fagermoen

Regional Secretary

c/o IFES International Services
5 Blue Boar Street
Oxford OX1 4EE
​United Kingdom

+44 (0)1865 263777

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