|Commonwealth of Puerto Rico|
Area 9,104 sq.km. Greater Antilles, between Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands.
Puerto Ricans in USA now number 3 million.
Capital San Juan 2,550,000. Two-thirds of the population live in the metropolitan area. Urbanites 75%.
Euro-American 74.6%. Spanish-speaking 2.8 mill.; English-speaking 85,000.
Afro-Caribbean 25.2%. Mostly Spanish-speaking; a few French- and English-speaking.
Other 0.2%. Chinese 2,000, Lebanese.
Literacy 90%+. Official languages Spanish, English.
Mountainous and densely populated with few natural resources. A free market economy with manufacturing, trade and tourism the largest sources of income. Nearly 88% of exports are to mainland USA. Public debt 62% of GNP. Income/person $8,200 (26% of USA).
A Spanish colony for 400 years. Related to the USA after the Spanish-American war of 1898.
Freedom of religion.
1 The long unresolved issue of Puerto Rico's political future has divided the nation. People are torn between the present political status as a commonwealth linked to the USA, becoming a US state, or complete independence. The use of Vieques Island as a bombing range by the US Navy is a serious source of controversy. Pray for a resolution to these complex conflicts a political and identity crisis which affects every level of society.
2 Puerto Rico is traditionally Catholic, but Evangelicals have grown rapidly from 0.1% in 1900, to 5.7% in 1960 and nearly 30% in 2000 some claim this may have risen to 45%. Nearly 50% of Evangelicals are Pentecostal or Charismatic. There are numerous small indigenous networks of churches and independent congregations. There is also a large charismatic movement in the Catholic Church. There are many Christian ministries (8 Christian TV channels, many local radio stations, etc.) but not much impact has been made on the life of the nation, which is a complex post-modern society with all its associated problems.
3 Societal problems cry out for Christian involvement. The incidence of AIDS, alcoholism, drug addiction, corruption, crime and poverty are some of the highest in the Americas. Pray for humility, repentance, spiritual unity and burden for the lost among Christian leaders.
b) Globally for effective support and nurture of missions vision. A new interest in missions is developing in churches after decades of negativism. Pray that this interest may lead to greater impact on the world's unreached. There is much interest in unreached cities in Spain. Over 200 Puerto Ricans serve in indigenous movements such as AMIES International and in international missions such as YWAM, OM and WBT. Pray for the effective training and support of new mission ventures. COMIBAM is bringing together interdenominational (and denominational) mission agencies for fellowship and cooperation for world evangelization.
5 Over-population and unemployment have forced over 3 million Puerto Ricans to emigrate to the USA. About half live in and around New York, where they form the lowest income group. Some live in Hispanic ghettos, where frustration has driven large numbers to violence, drugs and immorality. Pray for all specifically ministering to this community.
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