Area: 300,000 sq km
80 provinces; 7,250 islands, of which over 700 are inhabited, 11 of which contain the vast bulk of the population. The largest are Luzon (116,000 sq km) in the north and Mindanao (102,000 sq km) in the south. Over 75% mountains; prone to devastating typhoons.
Population: 93,616,853 Annual Growth: 1.83%
Official language: Filipino (based on Tagalog), English Languages: 181 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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Pray for the less-reached peoples and areas. Great progress has been made in reaching out to isolated tribal peoples all over the islands, so much so that of the 17 remaining indigenous and unreached peoples, only two of them practice mainly tribal religions. The rest are Muslim. Pray for the Church to be stirred up in loving concern for Muslims and led into wise ways of reaching them.
a) Mindanao has a healthy number of evangelicals, but growth slowed recently and revival is needed. Continued violence between government forces and Muslim rebels, and deep resentment of the Magindanaw, Maranao and Iranun, are all major obstacles to witness. Christian concern for them increased, and now over 200 (mainly Filipinos) work among them, often in highly dangerous situations. Increasing numbers have been won to Christ and over 100 house churches planted. Pray for these believers who face great pressures. OMF, SEND, TEAM, SIM and others have ministry to them.
b) The Sulu Islands, between Mindanao and Borneo, are the home of the Muslim Tausug, Sama(3), Sinama and Yakan peoples. There is a significant breakthrough among the Sama Bajau Sea Gypsies who moved to urban areas of the region. They now take the gospel back to their home areas.
c) Palawan a long, isolated island is rapidly developing, with many new Tagalog and Muslim immigrants. Through the ministry of NTM, these have responded: the indigenous Palawano groups, three Tagbanwa groups and plains Cuyunon. Much Bible translation work is completed, and churches are planted. The remaining challenge is to see more spiritual fruit among these: the superficially Muslim Molbog on Balabac and surrounding islands, the Batak, Brookes Point Palawano and Sama Mapun on Cagayan Island. Recent response and growth among the Molbog and Batak are encouraging. Praise God for some beginnings among these peoples.
d) Luzon. Praise God for church growth in the north-central mountainous area, where many of its peoples the Ifugao, Bontok, Kankanay, Kalinga and Isnag see the beginnings of people movements from animism to Christ. The Bicol region remains the neediest, with Albay Camarines Norte and Catanduanes provinces having the lowest evangelical percentages. Many small, semi-nomadic, hunter-gatherer Dumagat (Agat, Alta, Arta, Ayta, other) peoples live on the typhoon-lashed, rugged north and northeast coastal mountains of Luzon. Few are Christian, and the task of church planting is complex. NTM makes a large investment of personnel among these peoples.
e) Visayas is in some ways the most needy region of the country. Christianity is widespread, but too often very nominal. The islands of Samar, Cebu and Leyte all see growth but remain well below the national average for evangelical presence. Widespread poverty often combines with a lack of hope to create a toxic socio-economic climate.
Christian support ministries for prayer:
a) The Philippine Bible Society. The PBS(UBS) is extensively involved in translation, production and promotion of the Bible. Millions of Bibles, NTs and portions are distributed every year. Pray for the Bible to make a deep and lasting impact on lives.
b) Bible translation has been and continues to be a major ministry of a number of agencies. Of special mention are SIL and WBTs affiliate organization, The Translators Association of the Philippines. By 2010, 25 Bibles and 67 NTs were completed. There are another 54 active projects and 14 more with translation needs.
c) Literature is extensively used by Christians. Nearly 50 denominational and non-denominational literature agencies print, publish and distribute. Pray for the work started by OMF (publishing house and network of more than 50 bookstores), CMA, CLC and others. There are more than 100 Christian bookstores in the country. The use of Bible comic books is effective in reaching youth.
d) The ministries of EHC and the Bible League have significant impact. EHC has distributed more than 54 million gospel booklets through the country. The Bible League has sent out over 8.5 million Bible Correspondence Courses and provided Bibles for discipling, leading to many conversions and hundreds of new churches.
e) GRN has prepared messages in 137 of the nation's languages.
f) Christian radio. FEBC and TWR between them broadcast over 2,000 hours of programming a week in 20 languages for the Philippines. This is in addition to the many local Christian radio stations, both Catholic and Protestant/Independent. Pray for the effectiveness of these broadcasts in reaching unbelievers and in helping disciple believers. Pray also for the fruitfulness of outgoing shortwave broadcasts to Asian countries and regions more difficult to access especially China, Siberia, Indochina and Myanmar.
g) Christian television. Christians make widespread use of radio and TV, including the charismatic networks within the Catholic Church. Few countries have more extensive Christian television coverage. A Pentecostal TV Channel, Zoë Broadcasting (Jesus is Lord Church), is one of the more prominent evangelical channels in operation full-time.
h) The JESUS film, available in 36 languages, has been seen by around 75% of the population. In a recent initiative, all of the countrys 122,000 police officers received a copy of the film on DVD.
i) Internet usage is growing rapidly in the Philippines, and many ministries and churches extensively exploit this medium to spread their message. From online communities to webstreaming TV to podcast sermons to Bible studies, the dynamic and technologically savvy Filipino Church is making a powerful redeeming impact via the web.
For an additional 12 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 Philippines.