Area: 69,700 sq km
Black Sea state between the Caucasus Mountains and Turkey. Moderate climate with good natural resources and soil.
Population: 4,219,191 Annual Growth: -1.12%
Official language: Georgian Languages: 25 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
The small Protestant Church struggled under Communism and, since independence, at the hands of some factions of the Orthodox Church. Evangelical ministries have been repressed, their work maligned as sectarian. They have had problems acquiring buildings and the permits necessary to hold meetings. There have been incidents of meetings being broken up, sometimes violently, and materials confiscated. Some legal changes in 2005 offer hope of greater freedom of religious expression. Pray for a relationship of mutual respect and understanding between the Orthodox and other churches; pray that Protestant and Independent churches and believers might conduct themselves in Christ-like ways, even amid hostility.
Evangelicals are effectively comprised of Baptists and Pentecostal/charismatic groups, but more and more congregations from both streams wish to remain independent of denominational affiliation. Evangelicals are not growing, but they are at least shrinking slower than the overall population. There has been some creative development in contextualized evangelical worship and practice and in work among Christian young people. The following need prayer:
a) Poverty. Village unemployment/underemployment is nearly 100%. Few congregations have the resources to support pastors and often have dilapidated church buildings. High-profile outreach and ministry are not feasible, especially when expensive foreign ministry models require dependence on foreign funds. Pray for creative ideas for church meetings and outreach, and pray for Gods provision in the daily needs of pastors and church members living in poverty.
b) Unity. The small but deeply divided evangelical community has taken significant steps toward unity and collaboration. Evangelical leaders across several denominations and ministries met in fellowship, committing to defend biblical values and to promote religious freedom within Georgia. Well-intentioned but ignorant foreign help for churches and increased influence of prosperity theology among many Pentecostals are causing further theological differences, even amid deliberate efforts to fellowship and work together. Pray for a greater willingness among all churches to put aside their own plans and to work together for the benefit of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
c) Cultural irrelevance among youth. Young Georgians have lost interest in the Church, with a majority leaving during teenage years. Youth groups have grown in some cases where intentional efforts were made to reach out to young people in creative and relevant ways and where youth were empowered to lead. Pray for churches to thoughtfully share the gospel with young people in relevant ways.
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 Georgia.