Area: 756,626 sq km
A 4,200-km-long country wedged between the mountains of the Andes and the Pacific Ocean and averaging only 150 km in width. Also Easter Island/Rapa Nui in the Central Pacific. Great extremes from the hot, northern Atacama Desert to the Antarctic tundra in the south.
Population: 17,134,708 Annual Growth: 1.01%
Official language: Spanish (but Mapudungun increasingly recognized) Languages: 16 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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The growth of evangelicals in the last 40 years brings their number to 18% of the population. This growth is unique; a Pentecostal revival in 1909 within the Methodist Church gave birth to a dynamic, indigenous Pentecostal movement with evangelistic zeal. Growth is still occurring across almost all denominations with an evangelical presence. Recent emphases by the many Pentecostal denominations on ministering to the poor and cooperating together are both signs of a maturing movement.
Social changes in Chile reflect the shifts in life and belief in this traditionally conservative nation. Liberalization yields both positive and negative effects. Divorce was only recently legalized; before that, the number of marriages performed dropped by 45%, and 60% of children were born out of wedlock. One out of seven Chilean women is a mother by the age of 14. Crime, drug abuse and materialism are all on the rise. Many are disaffiliating themselves from traditional religious structures, with large numbers leaving both Catholicism and Pentecostalism. Pray that the positive aspects of traditional social structures would be affirmed and strengthened.
For an additional 9 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 Chile.