Area: 51,100 sq km
Agriculturally and ecologically rich land that straddles the Central American isthmus.
Population: 4,639,827 Annual Growth: 1.40%
Capital: San José
Official language: Spanish. English and Mekitelyu spoken on Caribbean coast Languages: 13 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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Evangelical churches lose almost as many as they gather. Many unattached evangelicals and many more ex-evangelicals have returned to the Catholic Church, turned to sects or given up on religion altogether. The following causes need to be addressed in prayer:
a) A failure to disciple converts. Most Costa Rican churches are good at reaching out and winning converts, but they fail in raising them in godly lifestyles and biblical knowledge. When times get difficult, spiritually stunted Christians either fall away or migrate to a different church.
b) Pastors are under-resourced, usually surviving on minimal incomes and without strong teams to help in their work. This generally leads to a failure to provide solid pastoral care for struggling believers, which in turn leads to members drifting away.
c) Rivalry and divisions among and within denominations and congregations disillusion many. Pray for a spirit of unity and love to prevail.
d) Rigid legalism and failure to enculturate the gospel forced alien forms of faith and culture onto Costa Rican Christianity. Pray for dynamic, relevant and culturally appropriate ministries and churches to spring forth.
Christian help ministries:
a) Radio and TV. There are six Christian radio stations, one TV channel and five Internet radio sites; other secular stations air Christian programmes. Pray for quality programming that will reach into the hearts of the lost and build up believers.
b) The Bible Society. Demand for Scriptures is strong and growing. Works in reaching students and Nicaraguan immigrants are especially fruitful.
c) The Spanish Language Institute, where many missionaries learn Spanish. Pray for staff and missionary students.
For an additional 6 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 Costa Rica.