Area: 9,970,610 sq km
The world’s second-largest country. Wide diversity of mountains, prairie grasslands and forests, but much is sparsely populated wilderness and arctic tundra.
Population: 33,889,747 Annual Growth: 0.96%
Official language: English; French Languages: 169 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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A nation of immigrants, having deliberately pursued a policy of immigration, Canada has the worlds highest rate of immigration and receives large numbers of refugees. Nearly 75% of immigrants live in the countrys three largest cities, and 95% in urban areas generally. Outreach and evangelization can be difficult in a context that deliberately embraces multicultural pluralism. Especially significant are:
a) The Chinese (1.4 million) population has grown rapidly since the 1980s, with a steady influx of immigrants. There are nearly 400 congregations among them, mostly in Toronto and then Vancouver. Church growth is encouraging, but challenges exist regarding second-generation withdrawal from the Church and assimilation of Chinese Christians into the broader Christian fellowship.
b) South Asians (numbering just over one million). They include Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims, and form the biggest bloc of unreached peoples in the country. Vancouver is the worlds second-largest Sikh community.
c) Muslim peoples have been mostly of Arabic background, but increasing numbers of Afghans, Kurds, Somalis, Sudanese, East Africans and Southeast Asian Muslims can now be found. Very little specific outreach to them has been undertaken. Most of the few believers are Lebanese or Palestinian.
Missionary vision was once very strong but has steadily declined over the last 20 years. Support of national missionaries and relief and development programmes, however, has remained steady. Areas for prayer:
a) Overseas ministry. Canada once enjoyed a pride of place in sending aid and peacekeeping forces and in having a strong missionary-sending tradition. The latter of the three has decreased markedly. Pray for increased involvement by churches and individuals in the evangelization of the unreached around the world.
b) The great influx of immigrants creates sizeable unevangelized communities in Canadas cities. Reaching the scores of unreached ethnicities can happen within a stones throw of most urban churches. Pray for a passion to reach out to these peoples whom God has placed on the doorsteps of evangelical congregations.
c) Missionary concern from within the many growing, ethnic-minority churches. Such a vision is vital for Canada and could be strategic for the evangelization of their lands of origin.
d) Nationwide missionary mobilizing. Pray for the unifying and strategic work of the Task Force for Global Mission of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. Pray also for Missionfest, a mobilizing conference held in several cities every year to raise awareness and stimulate missions vision.
For an additional 8 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 Canada.