Area: 267,515 sq km
Two mountainous main islands 1,600 km southeast of Australia.
Population: 4,303,457 Annual Growth: 0.92%
Official language: English, Maori. Samoan widely spoken Languages: 22 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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New Zealand as a sending nation consistently commissions a higher ratio of its church members as missionaries than the vast majority of countries. Nevertheless, the ambitious shared vision of Missions Interlink and many churches is to achieve, in time, a sending rate of 1 missionary per 1,000 committed believers, amounting to 3,000 workers more than double the number being sent currently!
Kiwi society is increasingly post-Christian and secular. Other religions are far less a threat to the Church than basic unbelief. The last 20 years have seen significant proportional decline among Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists and, to a lesser extent, Catholics. Those claiming to be non-religious increased from 1.1% in 1951 to 40.9% in 2010; at current rates of change, Christianity will cease to be the majority religion before 2020. Church attendance is also in decline. About 14% attend weekly; 40% of Kiwis attended church in the past but no longer do so. Pray for:
a) A further outpouring of the Spirit to renew those in churches and to draw in again those who have left. 24/7 prayer rooms and other prayer groups are multiplying throughout the country, indicating that God is indeed stirring the Church.
b) Effective training and discipleship tools that enable all Christians, ministers and laity to connect meaningfully with the unchurched. New bridges to non-believers need to be built.
c) New expressions of church that are dynamic, relational, relevant and culturally appropriate to both the Pakeha (Caucasian) majority and the many minorities.
d) Wisdom for the Church as it comes under increasing pressure from the government to cooperate with other religions.
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 New Zealand.