Pray for Our World: Virgin Islands of the USA

Located between Puerto Rico and British Virgin Islands, the US Virgin Islands includes about 352 square km spread across three larger and 50 smaller islands. Tourism is the mainstay of the economy, with over 2 million visitors to the tiny islands every year. They also have one of the largest oil refineries in the world. The former Danish colony was purchased by the USA in 1917. It is a self-governing unincorporated US territory. They have the same freedom of religion as in the USA.

In 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria slammed the U.S. Virgin Islands as Category 5 storms destroying many buildings and the power grid. After that, many people moved to the US mainland to seek job opportunities and a better life. Pray for all of those affected by the hurricanes, who have lost family and their livelihoods.

Pray for Our World: Turks and Caicos Islands

Turks & Caicos Islands are an archipelago of 30 coral islands at the southeastern end of the Bahamas.  90% of the people are African Caribbean, but many include undocumented immigrants fleeing from Haiti.  The islands are a territory of the UK, however issues with drug trade significantly affect the islands’ administration.  The majority religion is Christian Protestant, although most of the undocumented Haitians are Catholic so the exact numbers are not known. As much as 25% of the population live below the poverty line, despite a growing economy in tourism and offshore finance.  Pray that the Christian church will unite and have opportunities to help the people advance for the betterment of the entire population of the islands.

Pray for Our World: Trinidad & Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago are two islands off the coast of Venezuela. Oil and gas provide half the export earnings, and low inflation and a growing tourist sector make it the strongest Caribbean economy. However, as the nation becomes a major transshipping site, there is a rising concern over drugs.

The islands have religious freedom for all, with the majority being Christian, followed by Hindu. Yet there is little cohesion between churches and denominations. The South Asian community, largely originating from North India, is the largest Christian group in the Caribbean, and many Hindus and some Muslims have converted to Christianity. Pray for unity among the churches and Christian groups so that they may spread the message of hope and light to their communities, and keep out the darkness that the drug trade brings to these islands.

Pray for Our World: Small islands of the Caribbean

There are several small islands that make up some of the best tourist destinations in the Caribbean, and most of these are named as saints. St. Barthelemy, an overseas collective of France, is a high-end tourism and luxury duty-free economy mostly bought by wealthy American and French visitors. St. Kitts and Nevis are federal democracies independent from Britain, and used to produce most of the world’s sugar. St. Lucia, considered one of the most beautiful islands of the Caribbean, has been independent from Britain since 1974, but is still highly contested at times. St. Martin is an overseas collective of France, and shares an island with Saint Maarten which is part of the Netherlands. St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been independent from Britain as a parliamentary democracy since 1979.

There are no shortage of churches on most of these islands, but they are limited. Though considered religious countries, they are prone to the same spiritual apathy that has taken hold of many of the countries today. We are in a spiritual crisis. Churches of the past line the streets but they are empty or have closed their doors. We have more knowledge at our fingertips than ever before, but people do not know what the Bible says. Pray for the revival and restoration of the churches on these small islands in the beautiful Caribbean.

Pray for Our World: Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico was a Spanish colony for 400 years, and then became related to the USA after the Spanish-American war of 1898. The US President is chief of state, but Puerto Rico is administered by an elected governor. However, corruption has been a big problem in local governments. They have a free market economy, and one of the higher per capita incomes in the Caribbean, but they also have one of the highest costs of living.

Puerto Rico is traditionally Catholic, but the trend seems to follow that of many other countries. Evangelicals are growing, from .1% in 1990 to over 25% in 2010, while Catholicism is on the decline. Yet, there is still a struggle for churches to make an impact on the social and spiritual needs of the nation. Over 45% live below the poverty line,  62% fail to complete high school, and many households are headed only by females. Pray for the needs of Puerto Rico to be reached through the church and neighboring Christians.