Area: 8,511,965 sq km
One-half of the land surface and population of South America. The world’s fifth largest country in both area and population.
Population: 195,423,252 Annual Growth: 0.99%
Official language: Portuguese Languages: 193 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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Evangelical impact on society has until now been negligible. But with rapid growth comes increased power and responsibility. Pray for:
a) Socio-political influence. No longer a tiny, marginalized group, evangelicals now hold nearly as much clout as the Catholic Church. Churches are beginning to wield this strategically, both as a voting bloc and in lobbying the government on various issues. Pray for assertive holiness that is combined with gracious humility in presenting the face of the Church to the nation.
b) Transformational ministry is greatly needed in a nation ravaged by inequality, injustice, crime, immorality and HIV/AIDS. While mainline churches have a long association with compassionate works, evangelicals have done far too little to effect transformation. Only 12% of churches have any kind of social programme, and most of those are very limited in scope. Once evangelicals address these challenges on a massive scale, then they can consider themselves to truly be good news people.
Brazil has become a leading mission-sending nation with great emphasis on the unevangelized and on church planting. Brazillians faith, enthusiasm, adaptability and talents (football, music, dancing) open many doors, but poor preparation and support can undermine all these. Pray for:
a) More who will go to the field and more churches who will send them. While just under 2,000 is a formidable number of missionaries sent, given the mass of Brazils evangelicals, the sending ratio is actually very poor. The large majority of congregations have no involvement in missions, and the explosive growth of missions in the 1980s and 1990s may not be characteristic of 2000-2020. There is still great and untapped potential!
b) Mobilization and facilitation. Associação de Missões Transculturais Brasileiras (AMTB) mobilizes churches into mission and serves as a resource and linking network for 35 of the largest Brazilian cross-cultural mission agencies. Associação de Conselhos Missionários de Igrejas (ACMI) aims to help local churches set up viable missions structures, programmes and channelling mechanisms.
c) Missionaries sent from Brazil. Pray for their recruitment, their effective training and preparation for the field and their long-term survival and fruitfulness in cross-cultural situations. More and better training programmes are improving the level of adequate preparation that was previously lacking for many workers. Unrealistic expectations and traditionally poor levels of pastoral support are also being addressed.
d) Sending churches to increase their long-term commitment to pray for, send and support missionaries. Prayer support is often very strong, but at times promised financial support never arrives. Attrition from Brazilian missions has been disproportionately high in the past, and better support from the home end is an integral part of the solution to this.
For an additional 10 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 Brazil.