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|
Evangelical growth remains encouraging but is also hampered by certain challenges:
a) Serious divisions. Many denominations suffered acrimonious splits, especially some Pentecostal denominations. Some recent progress has been made to overcome these; pray for churches to major on the core elements of the faith and extend grace in the minor distinctives.
b) The need for a united vision. The Portuguese Evangelical Alliance (EA) continues to grow in impact, a necessary development. Pray for wisdom, vision and courage for its leaders and members, since the EA plays a key role.
c) The need for passion for the lost. The Portuguese Church has a unique role to play because of the widespread use of the language. Most churches could easily increase involvement in evangelism and in mission. Some churches and missions are active in sending. A new national sending agency (MEVIC) recently began.
d) Church planting. Many more churches are needed. DAWN, together with the EA, targets a goal of 4,000 evangelical churches by 2015. Several groups adopted cell-church models but face the difficulty that, for many Portuguese, a physical structure communicates religious legitimacy. Pray for continued church growth, for affordable and appropriate meeting places and for leaders for these future churches.
Many congregations lack full-time workers with adequate theological depth and spiritual maturity; church growth exacerbates this problem. These institutions are therefore highly strategic: Assemblies of God, Portuguese Bible Institute (GEM, ECM), Presbyterian, Baptist and Brazilian-founded Bethel Bible Institutes. TEE programmes and Núcleo, a widely used Bible correspondence course, are also strategic. Pray that these may contribute to meeting the ministry needs of the churches.
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.