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 is one of the least-discipled Chinese communities in the world. The major hindrances to evangelism and breakthrough are the strength of the gambling industry, the social cohesion of Chinese culture, Buddhist/Daoist beliefs and fear of offending A-Ma, the local god after which the city was named. The Church is small, weakened by emigration and a high turnover of leadership. Pray for local leaders to be raised up who will help the Church survive and grow and be a blessing to China and the world. The Macau Bible Institute was the first theological school; there are several other practical ministry training programmes in place as well.
Macaus reputation as a City of Sin is well founded; gambling revenues here surpass even those of Las Vegas and are still growing. The government regulates the industry, and local owners control a majority share with large foreign investors also present; the historic association with Triad influence is much less than in the past. Pray about the following:
a) Materialism and greed are the harvests reaped from this seed. Such an environment strangles spirituality as testified to by tiny churches but burgeoning casinos, the cathedrals of mammon.
b) Gambling is a religion that takes much and gives little. Addiction and desperation are epidemics taking on a massive scale. The Church has largely failed to minister to gambling addicts, but groups such as the Macau Evangelical Church, Industrial Evangelical Fellowship and Horizon Christian Fellowship are beginning to address this.
c) Prostitution and substance abuse are natural parasites of the gambling industry. Most sex workers are trafficked in, often against their will, from the mainland or other Southeast Asian countries. Rahab Ministries reaches out to mainland women involved in prostitution in Macau. Pray for this ministry and for more such groups to reach out to these at-risk people.
d) Lucrative salaries in casinos encourage young people and Christians to seek employment there at the expense of university education or involvement in church or the community. Pray for viable work alternatives to the gambling industry.
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.