Population: 2.1 million (2012)
Official language: Slovenian
Major religion: Christianity
IFES movement: Zveza evangelijskih študentov Slovenije (ZVEŠ)
Slovenia is a small mountainous country that, like some other European nations, is currently struggling with a crippling level of national debt. There is a tiny percentage of evangelical Christians; these churches are generally small and struggling but there is growing inter-church cooperation.
- 2 large universities, many smaller public and private institutions
- ZVEŠ group only in University of Ljubljana
- 2 staff, 3 volunteers from InterAction, the IFES Europe cross-cultural mission team
ZVEŠ has a strong leadership team and good co-operative relationships with some of the schools at the University of Ljubljana. Although God is blessing their efforts to reach students, the team wishes more people would commit to regularly attending a Bible study group.
The large majority of Slovenian students are happy to discuss spiritual matters in English. Slovenians often feel free to investigate the faith when they meet international students or when they travel abroad. The movement is giving training and support to international students who wish to explore following Jesus cross-culturally. In turn, these students are encouraging Slovenian Christian students to live out their faith.
View from the inside
Leon Hribar is the General Secretary of ZVEŠ. He says, ‘Student ministry is a great opportunity to challenge people’s thinking and the attitudes at the heart of our culture.’
Leon is excited to see how the ministry has developed, from the first group launched by student initiative in 1998. He says, ‘Our hope is that in the context of ministry modelled by young InterAction graduates and international students, we may see more Slovenian students taking the initiative to lead Bible discussion groups, and that many may come to know the historical Jesus’.
- for more Slovenian students to take initiatives and ‘own’ the ministry;
- for the new staff and overseas volunteers to integrate quickly and serve the movement well.