Area: 1,958,201 sq km
Latin America’s third largest country. Wide range of topography and rainfall ranging from arid northern plateau, central volcanic plateau and the southern mountains and rain forests. Only 10% of the country is arable.
Population: 110,645,154 Annual Growth: 0.99%
Capital: Mexico City
Official language: Spanish; the world’s largest Spanish-speaking nation Languages: 297 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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Sections of the population and peoples with few committed Christians:
a) The Rosary Belt, a region in central Mexico consisting of Zacatecas, Jalisco, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Colima, Michoacán and Querétaro. This region is often called the 10/40 Window of the Americas by Latino evangelicals. Spanish colonial and religious influence is very strong here. None of these states numbers over 2% evangelical, and Querétaro is only 0.25% evangelical.
b) Indian peoples are largely Catholic in name but pagan in practice. Most of the old pantheon of gods and spirits have Catholic names; others retain their original identities. According to research by COMIMEX, of 298 people groups, 15 are without a viable Christian witness, 98 have a church that still needs help from the outside to finish preaching the gospel in their group and a further five are inadequately researched. The complex syncretism, traditional isolation and linguistic diversity make these groups difficult to effectively evangelize. Vital discipleship and church planting ministries must be expanded to build on the impressive Scripture translation programme of SIL. Some of the least evangelized include peoples from the Náhuatl (3), Zapoteco (4), Mixteco (2), Popoloca, Chatino, Huichole and Mixe groups of peoples.
c) The wealthy elite. There is a strong atheist-agnostic current among them reinforced by an education system designed to dilute the influence of the Church. The large gap in income, lifestyle and even physical security between these elite and the rest of society means that generally they remain aloof from Christian growth. High-profile evangelical ministries have attracted some; pray for others to also show interest in spiritual things.
Mexico City is still a major challenge, as the cultural, financial and political powerhouse of the nation. The metropolitan area is one of the worlds largest urban agglomerations, but Mexico City proper is losing residents to the suburban areas and other regions. It has one of the higher percentages of Protestants (over 7%), but church participation is generally lower in this city where secular influences are strong. Pray for:
a) The hundreds of neighbourhoods without an evangelical congregation; especially needy are the upper-class areas.
b) The slum-dwellers. About 80% of the millions in the capital are poor, living in desperate economic conditions, often amid great squalor. Christian ministry to them is fraught with difficulty and challenge. Few are prepared to commit themselves to it.
c) The million Indians representing nearly every language of Mexico. Very little is being done to cater for their spiritual needs.
d) Marginal sects are rapidly growing through aggressive proselytism. The Mormons add over 1,000 members a month just from Mexico City alone and are already the second-largest Mormon population in the world, after the USA.
For an additional 10 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 Mexico.