Area: 21,041 sq km
21,041 sq km on the Pacific Coast of Central America. The smallest and most-densely populated Spanish-speaking mainland state in the Americas. Sub-tropical and susceptible to earthquakes.
Population: 6,194,126 Annual Growth: 0.44%
Capital: San Salvador
Official language: Spanish Languages: 7 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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The consolidation of peace, stability and democracy since 1992 is an answer to prayer, after the intense suffering of civil war. Elections and economics now replace death squads and assassinations.
Rapid social and demographic shifts are changing the face of the country and require prayer and action. Most notable among them are the following:
a) The 3.3 million Salvadoreans living abroad, many in the USA. Their remittances sent home keep many out of poverty, yet they have spiritual needs of their own. Many are working illegally and are vulnerable to exploitation. Their absence has also triggered social shifts back home.
b) The new urban population. In one generation, El Salvador has gone from a predominantly agrarian, rural society to one in which 60% live in cities. This flow to the cities generates new challenges regarding infrastructure, crime and poverty.
c) The large numbers of youth involved with the powerful maras. These gangs have attracted up to 70% of young men, partially orphaned by absent fathers. The Church finds that reaching the 15-30 age bracket is particularly difficult with its current methods. New methods must be adopted or an unchurched generation will quickly emerge in El Salvador.
d) The massive megachurches, such as Elim and Tabernáculo Bíblico Bautista, both of which have grown from almost nothing to over 100,000 affiliates in their wider networks. With significant financial and political clout, these cell-based churches have the opportunity to powerfully and positively influence society.
For an additional 5 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 El Salvador.