2300 make decisions for Christ in Albania

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After the fall of Communism and state-imposed atheism 20 years ago there were only five known believers in Albania. But recently,

Crowd at TiranaFest

local churches and Luis Palau collaborated to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to more than 20,000 people at Tirana’s Mother Teresa Square.

TiranaFest with Luis Palau, a massive evangelistic campaign, took place in Albania’s capital, Tirana, on September 22-23. The square resounded with live music, athletic exhibitions, and a clear presentation of the Good News by Luis Palau and others.

“This was totally different…something that has never happened in Tirana,” Pastor Paulin Vilajeti of Albania Christian Center said. “Because people were attracted by different events. I believe and I hope that God touched different generations – from children to the old people.”

Local church leaders acknowledged the campaign as one of the largest faith gatherings – and the largest movement of churches – Albania has ever seen. TiranaFest offered them a unique opportunity to spread the message of Jesus across the public sphere, timed to coincide with the nation’s 100-year anniversary of independence.

“I think it’s historic,” Toni Gogu, an attorney and chair of TiranaFest’s organizing committee, said. “For the first time, we have had the elites of Albanian society – the business community, the political community – being addressed in such a genuine way with the Good News of salvation.”

The city’s church leaders and congregants alike boldly reached out to their countrymen and helped lead 2,300 people in public decisions for Jesus Christ.

Days before the festival, Luis met and prayed with government and faith leaders, including the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church and Tirana’s mayor, Lulzim Basha. The latter attended the festival Saturday and offered his welcome and support for TiranaFest from the main stage.

A late addition to the Palau team’s 2012 calendar, TiranaFest defied expectations as publicity swept throughout the city and the nation’s top three TV networks carried the story for several days.

“Since 1985, I have loved Albania, I have read about Albania, and I always dreamt that someone would invite me,” Palau said.
For three months prior to the festival, Tirana’s churches performed a Season of Service to bless the city through medical clinics, dental clinics, and other community projects.

“We started a dialogue. We started asking the mayor and the municipality how we can help,” Gogu said. “TiranaFest did this. TiranaFest brought the Church to the city, and brought the city to the Church. We put two feet to our faith; we proclaimed the Gospel and showed compassion and love for the city.”

The Palau team is currently working with local churches to follow up with each new believer and connect them with a church in their area.

Evangelist Luis Palau has brought a message of hope through faith in Jesus Christ to more than 1 billion people through radio, television, and other media. He is the author of more than 40 books and countless articles on issues of faith. For more information, visit www.palau.org.

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. Isn’t it odd that if the Baptists and evangelicals are correct that their “born again experience” is the true and ONLY means of salvation, the term “born again” is only mentioned three times in the King James Bible? If “making a decision for Christ” is the only means of salvation, why doesn’t God mention it more often in his Word? Why only THREE times? Isn’t that REALLY, REALLY odd?

    Why is it that the Apostle Paul, the author of much of the New Testament, NEVER uses this term? Why is this term never used in the Book of Acts to describe the many mentioned Christian conversions? Why is this term only used by Jesus in a late night conversation with Nicodemus, and by Peter once in just one letter to Christians in Asia Minor?

    If you attend a Baptist/evangelical worship service what will you hear? You will hear this: “You must be born again: you must make a decision for Christ. You must ask Jesus into your heart. You must pray to God and ask him to forgive you of your sins, come into your heart, and be your Lord and Savior (the Sinner’s Prayer). You must be an older child or adult who has the mental capacity to make a decision to believe, to make a decision to repent, and to make a decision to ask Jesus into your heart.”

    Why do Baptists and evangelicals use this non-biblical terminology when they talk about salvation? Other than “you must be born again”, none of this terminology is anywhere to be found in the Bible!

    Is it therefore possible that…making a “decision” for Christ is NOT how sinners are saved? Is it possible that “accepting Christ into your heart” is NOT what being “born again” really means?

    Gary
    Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals

    • You make some good points. The more people I’ve interviewed about their testimonies, the more I see there is no one cookie-cutter approach God uses, but many creative and unusual ways people come to faith. The term “born-again” is biblical, but has taken on negative connotations because of the political involvement of some Christians. Is there a better way to describe what happens, a better term, in your opinion?

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