Area: 7,682,300 sq km
This island continent is the world’s driest, but better watered in the east, southeast and southwest coastal regions, where most live in highly concentrated urban areas. There are three permanently inhabited dependent territories: Norfolk Island (35 sq km; 2,037 pop), Christmas Is. (135 sq km; 1,408 pop), Cocos Is. (14 sq km; 591 pop).
Population: 21,507,384 Annual Growth: 1.07%
Official language: English. 20% of the population use English as a second language Languages: 207 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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Evangelicals are a dynamic and diverse entity. They are strong in the Sydney Anglican diocese and a growing minority in the Melbourne diocese. Some mainline churches have evangelical majorities; all have at least significant and active minorities. The greatest growth is among Pentecostal/charismatic groups put together, they would constitute Australias third-largest denomination. Some of this is transfer growth from other churches, but much is also from conversion growth. Pray for the following issues:
a) Mainline churches are in varying degrees of polarization over issues such as ordination of women, homosexuality and traditional church structures, all leading to further division.
b) Christian holistic ministry such as ministry to the disabled, to addicts, to the poor and homeless is an area of great opportunity, since the state cannot meet all the needs and increasingly leaves such activities to charities. But increasing government legislation and controls in these areas create many hurdles that must be overcome.
c) The ideological debate with secular materialists may be the greatest battle facing the Church. Issues of human origin, human sexuality and the existence of God are hot topics for debate. Pray that evangelicals communicate the truth in love; pray for a bold witness to the uniqueness of Jesus that comes through with humility and compassion.
For an additional 7 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Australia.