Why Spain is Strategic for Future Missionaries in North Africa - Radical

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Why Spain is Strategic for Future Missionaries in North Africa

One of the ways the Holy Spirit advanced the gospel in the Book of Acts was through an apostolic-led strategy that emphasized strategic centers like Antioch, Ephesus, or Rome. During the next centuries, many missionaries were sent from these centers to reach the unbelievers from modern-day India all the way to the United Kingdom. 

This is something contemporary churches must not overlook. As churches partner together to advance the gospel in closed or unreached areas of the world, we must pray and think about how to take the gospel from strategic centers to the different people groups of the world. As a pastor in Sevilla, I believe Southern Spain is strategically positioned to take the gospel into unreached areas of North Africa—here’s why.

Spain’s Geography in Relation to North Africa

Beginning in 711 with thousands crossing the 8-mile Strait of Gibraltar that separates Spain from North Africa, the Moors occupied Spain for eight centuries. Although the geopolitical reality is different today, the short 8-mile divide is still all that separates Europe and Africa. 

A short 8-mile divide is still all that separates Europe and Africa.

Two Spanish territories—Ceuta and Melilla—are in North Africa and are a melting pot of Spanish and Moroccan citizens. International commerce into the Mediterranean goes through the Port of Algeciras, one of the world’s busiest ports, located on the Spanish side of the Strait of Gibraltar. 

Every year, thousands of North Africans enter Europe through Spain seeking prosperity and security. This region of Spain resembles Paul’s go-to cities in Acts: multicultural, port cities of commerce. Spain is geographically strategic because it can function as a two-way road for mission work. 

One direction emphasizes evangelism, discipleship, and training of the thousands of North Africans coming into Spain. The other direction inspires and mobilizes churches in Spain to send their church members to move and carry out God’s mission in North Africa.

Spain’s Latin American Migration

Since Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, the Spanish language has spread throughout North and South America. Spain began to prosper after entering the European Union in 1986, causing a Latin American migration to Spain due to its flexible immigration laws, sustained economic growth, and cultural and linguistic similarities. 

This migration is predominantly Christian, becoming more evangelical. Included in this migration are Latin American pastors coming to Spain to plant or support evangelical churches. The trend we are seeing is the growth of evangelicalism in the global south, including Latin America, versus the decline in the global north, which is primarily Europe and North America. 

This has translated to Latin American churches deploying missionaries to many countries in the world. Spain is a strategic place where churches from Spain and Latin America, like the church in Antioch, can partner to train and deploy Spanish-speaking missionaries to unreached North Africa.

Spain’s Evangelical Growth

In Romans 15, Paul’s desire was to go to the unreached in Spain. Spain is no longer unreached, but it hasn’t had a protestant missionary movement to unreached people groups like other European missionary movements, such as John Calvin’s missionary endeavors to Brazil or the Moravians missionaries that went to unreached parts of the world.

Part of the reason is that historically, Spanish evangelical churches have not perceived themselves as large or resourceful enough to train and deploy church members to their neighbors to the south. Most churches have seen themselves as recipients rather than deployers of missionaries. 

There are more evangelical churches than ever in Spain.

However, the tide is changing. There are more evangelical churches than ever in Spain.1 There is a growing emphasis in planting healthy churches. There are more associations and networks of churches in Spain than ever partnering for gospel work. 

There are churches inspiring and mobilizing churches for the global mission with initiatives that already exist  for Spanish-speaking missionaries to reach Muslims and more are on the way. The gospel in Spain is growing, and it can be a strategic center for North Africa.

Will you pray that God would inspire and mobilize churches in Spain to think of their role in the Great Commission? Will you pray that Spain would become a hub for missionary training and deployment for the unreached in North Africa and beyond?


  1. EFE:, ¿Cúantos evangélicos hay en España? (How many evangelicals are there in Spain?) ↵
Alberto Puente Navarro

Alberto is a Pastor at Iglesia Bautista Fe in Sevilla, Spain. He is from TorrejĂłn de Ardoz in Madrid, Spain. He is married to Ashley and they have four children.

LESS THAN 1% OF ALL MONEY GIVEN TO MISSIONS GOES TO UNREACHED PEOPLE AND PLACES.

That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!