Population: 5.5 million (2012)
Official language: Slovak
Major religion: Christianity
IFES movement: Vysokoškolské Biblické Hnutie (VBH)
Slovakia is a mountainous country in central Europe which seceded peacefully from Czechoslovakia in 1993. Christians in Slovakia, the majority of whom are Roman Catholic, are accepted, but also considered quite outdated. However many people would still call themselves Christian because they identify with a cultural Christianity.
- 23 public universities
- 9 IFES groups, 2 pioneering groups
- 1 full-time staff and 3 interaction workers
- there are currently no contacts in the cities of Zvolen and Michalovce
VBH is a small student movement but one that shows great commitment: to each other, to Bible study and to evangelism. There has been some growth, the start of an international group in one city and greater energy for evangelism in some cities. Other groups have struggled recently with lack of commitment.
The student movement is starting to put together a volunteer program, which will hopefully bear fruit in the form of national staff.
View from the inside
Martin Mrazik, the General Secretary of VBH, says, ‘As a student I received many blessings through student ministry. I heard God calling me to leave my former work and serve students full time. What keeps me in this work is God who keeps really changing my life, the life of students and sometimes through them their siblings or parents too.’
The team has been recently encouraged by the call in Psalm 100 to joyful service as a response to God’s goodness. ‘For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations’ (Psalm 100:5).
- that discipleship would take root among students and that the gospel would radically transform their lives;
- for greater courage and creativity in evangelism amongst the student groups;
- for another staff worker to oversee the groups in the middle of the country;
- for the volunteer program and that Slovak churches would become more supportive of the movement.