The people of the southeastern European countries of Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, and Slovakia have many economic challenges, among them increased poverty and unemployment. Bulgaria is listed among the 10 poorest countries of Europe. Greece has a growing number of homeless people. And in several of these southeastern European countries, the Roma people are the poorest of the poor.

The large number of immigrants and refugees arriving in this region has added to the financial burdens, concerns about the future, and family pressures. Because of the lack of opportunities, many women leave their communities to seek jobs or to escape cruelty and hardships in their homes, only to be abused or forced into prostitution.

Bulgaria remains one of the primary sources of human trafficking in the European Union. Bulgarian, Croatian, and Slovak women and girls fall victim to sex trafficking within their own countries and throughout Europe, including in Austria, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Some women from Eastern Europe, the Dominican Republic, China, Nigeria, and other countries in Africa are subjected to sex trafficking in Greece. Roma women and children are particularly vulnerable to trafficking.

The Orthodox Church in Bulgaria and Greece and the Catholic Church in Croatia and Slovakia dominate their cultures. Within a culture steeped in contrasting religious practices, evangelical Christians find it challenging to encourage the study of Scripture and the cultivation of authentic, life-changing relationships with Christ.

God is using Project Hannah’s ministry of awareness, prayer, and radio programs to help women understand how much they are loved and valued by their creator and that he desires for them and their children to live with dignity, respect, and purpose through Jesus Christ.