Oct 05: Philippines

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Republic of the Philippines


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Area: 300,000 sq km

80 provinces; 7,250 islands, of which over 700 are inhabited, 11 of which contain the vast bulk of the population. The largest are Luzon (116,000 sq km) in the north and Mindanao (102,000 sq km) in the south. Over 75% mountains; prone to devastating typhoons.

Population: 93,616,853    Annual Growth: 1.83%

Capital: Manila

Urbanites: 66.4%

HDI Rank: 105 of 182 (UN Human Development Reports 2009)


Peoples: 186 (11% unreached) All peoples
Unreached Peoples Prayer Card

Official language: Filipino (based on Tagalog), English    Languages: 181 All languages


Largest Religion: Christian

Religion               Pop %Ann Gr


Challenges for Prayer

The Roman Catholic Church sees much change in the Philippines and within itself as society changes and the religious scene diversifies. Some of the major issues:

a) Coping with the loss of its position of privilege and with the decreasing proportion of population affiliated with Catholicism. Some seek to preserve the status of Catholicism in politics and society; others work to oppose threatening movements (such as nominalism, Protestant and Independent groups). Pray for new life to course through the Church and its leadership, institutions and parishes. Over 2,000 Filipino Catholic missionaries serve in other lands.

b) Large numbers of Catholics are more influenced by animism and witchcraft than by Christianity. In some parts of the islands, Catholicism is a thin veneer over long-held indigenous superstitions. They need exposure to the biblical gospel.

c) The charismatic networks have large numbers and spiritual fervour. Recent surveys indicate that anywhere from 15 to 30% of Catholics identify themselves as charismatic. El Shaddai claims eight million members. Couples for Christ (and now Singles for Christ), Ligaya Ng Panginoon, FAMILIA Community and Bukas Loob Sa Diyos add up to millions more. Within these movements are many committed evangelicals, but also some extra-biblical superstitions and beliefs. Pray for God’s grace upon these dynamic and influential communities.

Spiritual vitality does not always equate to biblical truth. Philippines is awash with sects and cults that blend Christian ideas with all manner of false teachings. Some of these are schisms from Catholicism, some are independent groups that sprang from Protestant contexts, some are effectively neo-pagan religions with a Christian veneer. Most feature highly controlling and manipulative leadership and teachings. Pray for all lies to be exposed, and pray for effective Christian apologetics and ministry to the millions caught within these groups.

     For an additional 12 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.

More Information

The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Philippines.