“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).
“ … Contemporary Europe is the closest thing to a godless civilization the world has ever known,” declared the Wall Street Journal in a 2006 article. At the heart of this dark continent is the city of Prague, Czech Republic, the city with the highest percentage of atheists. Yet, beyond what the news media and statistics declare, a spiritual awakening has begun to flow from the heart of Europe. In 2002, before my family and I moved to Prague to plant the first Church of God in that country, God gave us this word: “This is a latter-day Antioch, and from this place will flow ministry that will impact this entire part of the world.” Today, there is a thriving local church in Prague, and the Church of God has nine churches throughout the country.
Participation in the Lighthouse project in Prague is the fulfillment of a word of prophecy.
Prague was the Imperial City of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and is home to the largest castle in the world, covering 18 acres. As Europe’s 14th largest city, Prague has 1.3 million residents with a total of 2 million within its urban sprawl. One of the few cities in Europe that was not bombed during World War II, the center of Prague is protected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is called the “Golden City with a Thousand Spires,” and welcomes more than 6 million tourist visitors each year—only four cities in Europe receive more tourists annually. In 2016, Trip Advisor rated Prague sixth among the top destinations in the world. Charles University, located in the center of Prague, is Central Europe’s oldest university with 51,000 students, almost 7,000 of whom are international.
Behind this beautiful physical façade, lies a dark city in desperate need of the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Faithful, spirit-empowered Church of God believers are daily sharing the Good News. With the securing of the Lighthouse building, the Church of God now has its first church building in the country—where a thriving local church, a community outreach center, and ministerial training classrooms will be housed.
The Czech word “Prague” means “threshold.” This Lighthouse city is a spiritual threshold for what God is doing this part of the world!
—Jonathan Augustine is regional superintendent for Central Europe East/The Balkans.