Pray for Our World: Chile

Chile is wedged between the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean, with an average of only about 150 km in width.  Mining and mineral exports are the most important economic activities, especially with copper.  Chile is still trying to progress from its previous dictatorship to a democracy.

There has been a growth of evangelicals in the last 40 years, and spurred by a previous Methodist church indigenous Pentecostal revival in 1909.  The Catholic church was disestablished from the constitution in 1925, and they have suffered decline due to their ties to former regimes, as well as the explosive growth of Pentecostalism and an equal increase in non-religious sentiments.

Chile also includes the territory of Easter Island, a remote volcanic island in Polynesia. It is famous for its archaeological sites, including nearly 900 large carved statues called moai, created by inhabitants during the 13th–16th centuries. The moai are carved human figures with oversize heads.

Pray for Our World: Chad

Chad is also in central Africa, and is made up of desert, dry grassland and thick bush.  It has a complex mix of over 150 people groups.  Many previously unreached people are being reached for the first time.  The tragic upheaval in nearby Darfur have brought many people into contact with the gospel that otherwise may never have heard.  The persecution by other Muslims have disillusioned many with Islam and have made some open to the loving witness of Christians.  The Chadian Arabic Christian radio and the Jesus film, which is widely used in Arabic, is also well received.

Pray that the people of Chad will continue to have access to the truth of Jesus Christ which will truly set them free and give them a hope and a future.

Pray for Our World: Central African Republic

Located directly in central Africa, the country is composed of 80 different ethnic groups. The official languages are French and Sango, which is a trade language used by most of the population.  They have 48% literacy.  Rich in natural resources and minerals, diamonds account for 55% of the exports, though most of the working population are farmers.

76% are Christian and 14% Muslim, with tribal ethnoreligion making up the rest.  The national church seems to be emerging as a witness and service to the people.  National missionaries and agencies are on the increase, indigenous-led ministries are springing up, and Bible translation in mother tongues and literacy in the churches are also progressing.  Half of the population is under the age of 15, so ministry to young people and to women are vital.  Women are just now making inroads into ministry through Christian Women’s Union and Women’s Aglow.  Even Muslim converts to Jesus are considered very influential within their communities.

Pray that the mission efforts and the churches will continue to be a strong beacon of hope for the people of Central Africa, and that they will have a positive impact in the communities.  God is moving in this remote, central part of Africa.

Pray for Our World: Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are the most affluent of the Caribbean islands.  Christianity is strong there.  There are more than 90 churches and many of them evangelical.  There is one church for every 500 people.  Christian faith and values have a significant influence on the society.  The nation’s flag bears part of Psalm 24, “He hath founded it upon the seas”, and the new constitution includes recognition of their Christian heritage.  Pray that God’s influence and blessings will continue for the over one million tourists who visit the islands each year.

Pray for Our World: Canada

Canada has almost 10 million square km, the world’s second-largest country.  Most are European with a French majority in Quebec.  It has a diverse landscape and mix of peoples – both indigenous and immigrant.  70% of their trade is with the USA.  There is freedom of religion but also rapid secularization.  The majority is Christian Catholic, but 20% are non-religious.  Just like in the USA, the increase in liberal theology coincides with the decrease in church attendance.

I have traveled through most of Canada from Vancouver in the west to Quebec, Montreal and Newfoundland in the east.  It is very European, which is unique for North American continent, and is very secular.  I did not see much evidence of religion of any kind.  However, they do like American Christian television programs, and there are several strong student ministries in their colleges and universities.  The hope lies in our youth, that they will take a stand for their faith in a real way, and lead the next generation.