Pray for Our World: Portugal

Portugal is on the western side of Spain. It has been impoverished by years of dictatorship and colonial wars. There has been some improvement since their 1974 revolution against dictatorship. Since then, religious and political freedoms have transformed the nation, but it has not always translated into a genuine faith. There is increasing substance abuse, and the religious freedoms have been taken advantage of by Jehovah’s Witness, Mormons and New Age philosophies. Pray that the truth of Jesus Christ will be made known.

Pray for Our World: Poland

Poland is in central Europe, surrounded by seven other countries and the Baltic Sea. Throughout its history, it has been divided and occupied by many nations. One quarter of the population died in World War II. Communist rule was imposed in 1945, but this led to much poverty and turmoil. The Solidarity Movement protests in 1989 led to a democracy, and the country continues to see progress.

The Roman Catholic Church played an important role in the Polish culture during the Russian imperialism and Soviet communism. Poland is considered one of the most religious states in Europe. However, Catholic mass attendance is down, just like in most areas of the world. Polish Catholicism is also particularly noted for their devotion to Mary as the spiritual queen and co-redemptor and intercessor between humanity and Jesus. While Mary can be revered as an honored and blessed woman, Jesus is the One who died on the cross so that He could be our Savior! Pray that the people of Poland will see Jesus as their rightful Savior.

Pray for Our World: Philippines

The Philippines is a rather small geographical area with 7250 islands and over 700 of them inhabited with 94 million people.  Their main export is people! Filipinos are hard working and highly skilled, but there are too few work opportunities at home.  Over 8 million live abroad as nurses, engineers, domestic servants, nannies and seamen.  Filipino seamen are the largest group from any nation.  On my last vacation cruise, the entire crew was from the Philippines.  They were friendly, happy and proud people, and they produced a show on board the ship about their homeland.

There is freedom of religion, and the Catholic Church wields enormous influence, but there is also emerging independent and protestant groups that have influence on social and political issues.  The Muslim minority also seeks to set up an independent Islamic state in the south.

The Philippines has emerged as a missionary-sending force with so many going to other countries.  Pray that the Philippine Christians may be a light to the entire world.

Pray for Our World: Peru

Peru is on the western coast of South America.  They are primarily known for coffee as their economy staple.  We thank them for that!  But there is also large corruption, taxation and inequality, and cocaine production.  Over 50% live in poverty and nearly 20% in extreme poverty.  They have religious freedom but the Catholic Church is the officially recognized state church and receives preferential treatment.  This was used in the past to discriminate against non-Catholics in taxes, property, education and politics.

The Catholic church is in crisis there, with as little as 5% attending church.  The evangelical movement has grown dramatically since the 1960’s and they are now engaged in social and political issues, a force for positive change and involved in bringing the fullness of the gospel to all peoples in Peru.  Many indigenous peoples have embraced Christianity, and the Bible translations and literacy work of the missionaries have played a significant part in this.  Continue to pray for the people of Peru, the missionaries, and the church.

Pray for Our World: Paraguay

 

Paraguay is a land-locked nation between Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia.  It is one of the most homogenous populations of South America, with 90% being of Spanish and Guaranf descent.  One percent of the population owns 77% of the land, which creates widespread poverty and a subclass of landless peasant farmers.

There is complete separation of church and state, but the Catholic Church still wields a lot of political and social influence.  The Roman Catholic Church dominates much of the lives of the people, with much of it steeped in superstition, devotion to Mary and occult-related pre-Christian deities and customs.  The Catholic Church actively opposes any evangelism.  As a result, the idea of Christianity is often distorted.  Please pray for the people, for missionaries, and for the church to break these strongholds and lead the way in spiritual truth.