Area: 1,285,216 sq km
Three main zones: dry coastal plain in the west where most of the cities and industry are located, high Andean plateau which is more agricultural, and Amazon jungle in the east.
Population: 29,496,120 Annual Growth: 1.17%
Official language: Spanish, Quechua. Spanish-speakers 80.3%. Most Amerindians areSpanish-speaking or bilingual; 16.5% of the total population speak Quechua Languages: 93 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
Foreign missions have passed through difficult times, especially missions from the USA (over half of the missionary force in Peru); anti-US bias, accusations of espionage, occasional lack of cultural sensitivity, active hostility of anthropologists regarding Amerindian groups and widespread activities of Mormons and JWs have not helped. The majority of missionary effort is rightly directed to pioneer work in the eastern jungle, Bible translation, leadership training and the developing of holistic ministry. Some larger agencies are: CB/CMML, ABWE, SIM, MTW, BMM, VDM.
Challenge areas for ministry:
a) Lima is Latin Americas fifth-largest city. Almost two-thirds of the population live in slums ringing the city where abject poverty, unemployment and malnutrition are rife. Evangelization of the sprawling slums of Lima and nurture of churches in that difficult environment are a challenge, although Pentecostal groups, SAMS and Latin Link (LL) are seeing real progress. Praise God for the remarkable church growth in Lima through the work of foreign missions as well as many new Peruvian churches and ministries.
b) Less reached Amerindian tribal peoples. There are still a number of unreached peoples (at least 12) with populations often only a few hundred per group. Wariness of outsiders and inaccessibility make reaching them extremely sensitive work that must be undertaken with great wisdom and patience.
c) The business/professional and upper classes are traditionally staunchly Catholic and rather isolated from most existing evangelical witness. This is changing with the work of SIM and the influence of the emerging charismatic megachurches.
d) Ethnic minorities. The 9,000 Gypsies are coming to Christ in significant numbers. The nearly 900,000 Chinese have only a few established evangelical churches, and the Japanese population (declining in number) needs more of a witness.
e) Street children have multiplied in number, especially in certain areas of Lima. Poverty, social breakdown and war led to many being abused, exploited and forced to work long hours for a pittance. SU and others are working in their midst.
For an additional 11 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 Peru.