Area: 92,389 sq km
occupying 15% of the Iberian Peninsula, which is shared with Spain. Also, the Atlantic islands of the Azores (2,247 sq km, nine islands) and Madeira (794 sq km, two islands).
Population: 10,732,357 Annual Growth: 0.35%
Official language: Portuguese Languages: 9 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
There remain pioneer challenges, despite recent church growth. Pray for:
a) The seven northern and northeastern provinces, which are strongly traditional Catholic; relatively few evangelical churches exist. Brethren, Baptists, AoG, GEM, TEAM, ECM, Missão Antioquia and several other missions all have church-planting programmes in the area.
b) The four provinces in the south that are poorer and much less religious. Attendance at mass is very low, and evangelical churches are few.
c) The 316 counties, 44 of which still have no evangelical congregation. This is praiseworthy progress from the 69 in 2000 that lacked a church. The Evangelical Alliance set a target to plant a church in every county by 2015 through its member churches and organizations. Pray for this goal to be met and surpassed.
d) Madeira Island (270,000), which has fewer than 20 small evangelical churches, and the Azores (250,000), with a further 26, most being Assemblies of God and Baptist.
e) Ethnic minorities. Large numbers of immigrants continue to flow into Portugal. The earlier waves of Portuguese-speaking West Africans and Brazilians are joined by Chinese, Macanese and Eastern Europeans especially Ukrainians, who now comprise Portugals second-largest community. Many of these are unevangelized but open to the gospel; pray for the churches (both Portuguese and foreign) to gain a vision to reach them.
Young people are often spiritually neglected.
a) Drug abuse is a growing problem over 50% have experimented with drugs. Teen Challenge, Betel-Spain as well as TEAM and ECM have ministries rehabilitating and discipling addicts.
b) Student work is still in a pioneer stage. GBUP(IFES) has a ministry in eight universities and some high schools. CCCI (Agape) and Navigators also have ministries on several campuses.
c) SU and CEF have ministries among school children.
d) Sports are a useful form of outreach. Agape (Athletes in Action) and YWAM (Athletes for Christ) both minister in this way.
For an additional 6 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 Portugal.