To guide your summer getaway book selections, try this formula: E=FB²
Rarely do media report anymore on European tent cities crammed with desperate refugees. Jesus in Athens, a new documentary by Training Leaders International, won’t let us forget these outcasts. Exceptional videography and illustrations, compelling interviews, and personal stories tell how Christ is bringing Muslims in Greece to saving faith through Christian love.
Drone footage showing cramped camps and lines of weary women, men, and children highlights the needy multitudes. At the height of the crisis in 2015, more than 900,000 refugees and migrants entered Greece. Many have emigrated elsewhere in Europe or returned home, but more than 50,000 remain—trapped after European countries shut their doors.
Mostly Middle Eastern and North African, these refugees fled war, oppression, poverty, or slavery. The film personalizes not only their plight but their surprised responses to being treated with kindness by Christians.
The evangelists in the documentary originate from the United States, Asia, and Europe, including Greece. They and their churches reach the marginalized with practical help like language classes, legal aid, food, shelter, and showers. They also practice friendship, playing backgammon and other activities. Some ministries focus on children, protecting them from sexual predators and providing lodging, education, and Bibles.
Church planter and taxi driver Mihalis witnesses daily to Muslim passengers. A refugee told him, “God took us out of our country and brought us here in Greece to hear about Jesus.” Mihalis says, “God took away our fear and prejudice,” and he welcomes Muslims into his home. He has baptized hundreds of new Christians in a water fountain.
Footage blurs the faces of some Muslims to protect them from potential persecution, but many converts speak openly on camera of their conversion and how they are telling other Muslims about Jesus.
Writer and narrator Darren Carlson smoothly integrates what could have been a jumble of statistics and disconnected vignettes. Watching this documentary inspires, giving a glimpse of what a New Testament church might have been like: believers sacrificially loving strangers, boldly proclaiming Christ, and humbly growing together.