Mischa Markow

Mormon Missionary to the Balkans



Conditions were chaotic in southeastern Europe as the twentieth century dawned. Turkish power was on the decline, and various peoples were carving out new nations whose interests were often in conflict. Although the Greek Orthodox religion had long dominated the area, American missionaries began proclaiming their Protestant faiths during the second half of the nineteenth century. Mormon missionaries were also there, and one of these was Mischa Markow. His fascinating odyssey in the Balkans at the close of the nineteenth century represents many cross-currents in Mormon history: the conflict between Mormon objectives and certain national interests; the gross misconceptions held by Europeans of the Mormons; the spirit and attitude of a devout European convert; hope of the Church to spread its message around the world; and the fact that often a lone Mormon missionary would travel from country to country in a frustrating but yet soul-satisfying effort to fulfill that dream. Markow’s experiences and reactions were beautifully told in letters to Church leaders and friends.


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