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
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The Lowland Amerindians have responded to the ministry of SAMS, Swiss Mission and others. Lately, Amerindian missionaries have become active in reaching their own and related tribes. The three Lowland provinces of the upper Amazon still have the highest percentage of evangelical believers in the country. A network of Amerindian churches is developing and growing (FAIENAP) among 17 peoples. The problems they face are huge ecological insensitivity of oil, mining and logging companies, terrorism, drug trafficking and their very extinction as a people. Pray for ministries to these peoples, for the training programmes among them and for translation projects underway. SIL, using mainly local workers, is focused on making the NT and much of the OT available for the majority of groups.
A lack of trained leaders is so acute that both future growth and current discipleship are threatened. The absence of solid biblical theology amongst pastors is apparent in the churches as doctrinal confusion, false teaching and the influence of marginal sects grow. A culture of autocratic leadership style hampers not only the congregation but the potential impact of pastors themselves. A new paradigm of leadership formation is essential. Pray for:
a) Academic training. There are over 10 seminaries, some of which are strategic for all Latin America. At least 20 other Bible schools also prepare workers for ministry. Poverty and lack of finances seriously limit the number who can receive such training.
b) TEE is a valuable alternative, but is hampered by lack of teaching personnel and materials. SIM missionaries are involved with 700 TEE students. Segadores trains rural pastors and potential missionaries. But even this form of learning excludes the majority, who are not literate and tend to learn better orally.
c) The raising up of humble and godly role-model pastors who walk with Jesus and lead by example. Their mentoring role could have a greater effect than all the academic courses combined.
d) Sunday school teachers and youth leaders. The majority of congregations provide no special teaching or programmes for young people, a deficiency that must be rectified.
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.