Area: 29 sq km
A tiny peninsula and two islands 64 km west of Hong Kong on the coast of Guangdong Province of China.
Population: 547,591 Annual Growth: 2.35%
Official language: Chinese and Portuguese. The majority (86%) speak Cantonese, but Mandarin is also widely spoken
Largest Religion: Chinese
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Macau was the starting point of Protestant missions to China. There, the first Chinese convert was baptised, the first Chinese Bible translated and Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary to the Chinese, was buried. There is praiseworthy freedom to enter as missionaries, but residency permits are increasingly hard to obtain (for immigration and not religious reasons). The lions share is from Hong Kong, with many other nationalities present as well. Workers are engaged in evangelism, church planting and discipleship as well as community work and compassionate ministry to drug addicts, the homeless and others. Teaching English is an effective and much-desired way to build relationships and share the good news. Pray for their effectiveness in this crowded and pressurized city.
Other strategic ministry issues include:
a) The rising cost of real estate in this densely populated city-state is pricing small and poorly resourced congregations out of their rented spaces. Pray for financial provisions as well as creative solutions to this problem.
b) Ministry to tourists from mainland China, since Macau enjoys religious freedom. Distribution of gospel media in various formats is the main expression for this. Southern Cross (IMB) and China Tourist Ministry are two groups engaged in such evangelism.
c) Ministry to those working in the service industry. Huge numbers work in the hotels, restaurants and casinos; a large number are from the mainland. Some ministries (such as the Baptists) focus on reaching this large population with the gospel.
d) Support ministries. Macau has increasing access to Christian radio and TV via Christian broadcasts from Hong Kong stations and connectivity to the outside world in Chinese (especially from Taiwan), English and Portuguese. There is also good availability of printed, audio and video resources. There are four Christian bookshops. Christian worship bands from abroad have an especially positive impact on young people.
For an additional 4 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 China, Macau.