Area: 9,104 sq km
Greater Antilles, between Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands.
Population: 3,998,010 Annual Growth: 0.43%
Capital: San Juan
Official language: Spanish; English Languages: 13 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
Puerto Rico is traditionally Catholic, but evangelicals have grown steadily from 0.1% in 1900 to 25.2 % in 2010, with some claiming even higher. A strong majority of evangelicals are renewalist in theology. A host of small indigenous groups, mostly neo-Pentecostal and charismatic, accounts for the majority of denominations and churches, and this is where most growth is currently happening. There is also a large charismatic movement in the Catholic Church, which is otherwise in marked decline. Sadly, the churches make little impact on the many social needs of the nation.
Societal problems cry out for Christian involvement. The incidence of substance abuse, disease, corruption, crime and poverty are some of the highest in the Americas. This being so in a land that is 97% Christian and 25% evangelical is an affront to the gospel. Specific prayer needs are:
a) Poverty. Over 45% of the population live below the poverty line. It is significantly poorer than the poorest US state of Mississippi, and half of the island relies on food aid (in the form of food stamps).
b) Education. Only 11% have a college degree, while 62% fail to complete secondary school the highest dropout rate in the USA. These low education levels are profoundly linked to unemployment, poverty and crime issues.
c) Home life. An astonishing 61% poverty rate for households headed by females. Given the widespread family breakdown on the island, this accounts for a large portion of the population; many youths grow up deprived of material security as well as a father figure and male role model.
d) Health and substance abuse. Puerto Rico endures some of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS, drug addiction and alcoholism of any US state or territory.
For an additional 3 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 Puerto Rico.