Puerto Rico
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
September 21
Americas


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GEOGRAPHY

Area 9,104 sq.km. Greater Antilles, between Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands.

Population Ann.Gr. Density
2000 3,868,602 +0.81% 425 per sq. km
2010 4,158,727 +0.68% 457 per sq. km
2025 4,477,962 +0.43% 492 per sq. km

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%.

PEOPLES

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.

ECONOMY

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).

POLITICS

A Spanish colony for 400 years. Related to the USA after the Spanish-American war of 1898.

RELIGION

Freedom of religion.

Religions Population % Adherents Ann.Gr.
Christian 97.00 3,752,544 +0.8%
non-Religious/other 1.98 76,598 +1.2%
Spiritist 0.70 27,080 +0.8%
Muslim 0.13 5,029 +11.1%
Hindu 0.09 3,482 +3.2%
Jewish 0.07 2,708 +0.8%
Buddhist 0.03 1,161 +0.8%

Christians Denom. Affil.% ,000 Ann.Gr.
Protestant 45 15.92 616 +2.5%
Independent 54 13.20 511 +1.8%
Anglican 1 0.32 12 +0.7%
Catholic 1 74.96 2,900 +0.8%
Orthodox 1 0.03 1 +0.0%
Marginal 8 3.02 117 +1.2%
Unaffiliated   0.74 29 n.a.
Doubly affiliated   -11.19 -433 n.a.

Churches MegaBloc Cong. Members Affiliates
Catholic C 1,075 1,650,000 2,900,000
Other Pentecostal [30] I 1,915 229,814 370,000
Pentecostal Ch of God P 720 100,000 160,000
Assemblies of God P 280 56,000 100,000
Seventh-day Adventist P 260 31,524 78,000
Jehovah's Witnesses M 328 25,778 75,000
Baptist Convention P 105 35,000 70,000
Defenders of the Faith I 180 17,500 35,000
Ch of God (Cleveland) P 235 17,496 29,000
Latter-day Saints (Morm) M 70 16,084 23,000
United Methodist P 72 10,000 20,000
Disciples of Christ P 100 10,778 18,000
Chr & Miss Alliance P 60 6,500 15,000
Boriquén Presby Synod P 71 8,300 15,000
Ch of the Nazarene P 40 2,994 5,000
Other denoms [66]   1,498 130,400 244,000
Doubly affiliated     -247,429 -433,000
Total Christians [110]   7,009 2,100,700 3,724,000

Trans-bloc Groupings pop. % ,000 Ann.Gr.
Evangelical 27.6 1,066 +2.3%
Charismatic 25.2 976 +2.1%
  Pentecostal 20.0 772 +2.4%

Missionaries from Puerto Rico
P,I,A 190 in 25 agencies to 26 countries: Puerto Rico 64, USA 58, Costa Rica 9, Spain 8, Dominican Republic 8, Panama 8.

Missionaries to Puerto Rico
P,I,A 142 in 33 agencies from 9 countries. USA 130, Germany 3.



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Challenges for Prayer

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.

4 The Church needs new vision:

a) Locally for effective discipling and a return to the Scriptures. The 1997 DAWN saturation church planting conference was one catalytic beginning.

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.

c) For students. ABU(IFES) has a growing work with groups on some campuses – pioneering work is needed for other campuses with an inadequate student witness.

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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