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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The Roman Catholic Church is deeply impacted by charismatic renewal. Many have come to a living, personal faith in Christ, which has strengthened the Catholic Church (higher mass attendance, more indigenous seminarians and priests). Although 73% of the nation is Catholic, this percent declines every year, and most Catholics are quite nominal in their faith. From the charismatic renewal, many left the Catholic Church for evangelical churches; however, large and increasing numbers of post-evangelicals have returned to the familiarity and structure of Catholicism. Pray for both charismatics who stayed in the Catholic Church and those who have returned may their faith bring further renewal to the mainstream of Catholicism.
These are signs of progress:
a) Increased cooperative efforts for outreach and mission, despite lingering hesitations on the part of some evangelicals. The Costa Rican Evangelical Alliance, representing the majority of denominations, initiated the programme Costa Rica Century XXI to promote the development of churches at every level. Pray for a cutting edge to this vision, and for the leaders of this ambitious programme.
b) Some of the best training options in Latin America. There are 26 Bible schools and seminaries and a very extensive and effective TEE programme (SEAN). Two of the most influential are UNELA (Evangelical University of the Americas) and UBILA (Latin American Biblical University); both train Christians to minister effectively to all segments of society be it through church work, missions or marketplace ministry. There are plenty of training opportunities; pray that Costa Ricans would use them to raise the bar for leadership and to strengthen the Church.
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.