Area: 699 sq km
One larger and 54 smaller islands off the southern tip of Peninsular Malaysia; strategically located for communications and trade. Singapore is Asia’s cleanest and greenest city.
Population: 4,836,691 Annual Growth: 2.54%
Official language: Mandarin (Chinese), English, Malay, Tamil Indian. English is the primary language for education Languages: 31 All languages
Largest Religion: Buddhist
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Singapores capacity as a mission-sending nation has grown in leaps and bounds. The Singapore Centre for Global Missions (formerly SCEM) played a catalytic role in unifying and mobilizing the Singaporean mission enterprise. The Fellowship of Missional Organizations of Singapore (FOMOS), an association of several agencies and para-church groups, and the triennial GoForth National Mission Conference also have a notable impact. Many churches have active mission programmes; one outstanding example is Victory Family Centre, which has sent over a thousand short-term missionaries and planted hundreds of churches in 80 nations. Singaporean missionaries serving abroad increased from 140 in 1988 to an estimated 693 in 2010. As many as half of all congregations send missionaries directly to the field. Many others serve with international mission agencies such as OMF, OM, CCCI, YWAM, WEC. Pray specifically for:
a) Strategic impact. While a formidable number of Singaporeans go on short-term mission trips, usually through their local church, the greater need is for qualified, long-term workers. Singapore retains great potential to train, support and send many outstanding long-term workers into the unevangelized world, but the possibility also exists to reduce their impact to mere mission tourism and sponsorship.
b) Strong relationships between churches and sending agencies. Churches sending missionaries directly can have even greater impact if input from and cooperation with mission agencies can grow. This is thankfully occurring as churches realize the challenges of long-term mission.
Pray for Singapores less-reached peoples. The nation is a magnet for people from many unevangelized lands. Over 100 nations are represented in Singapores population of 1.25 million foreigners. The majority are transient workers engaged in lower end jobs. A tremendous opportunity exists to reach them with the good news.
a) The Malay population number over 500,000 and are considered Muslim by birth, but there are a growing number of believers in Jesus. The Religious Harmony Act requires great wisdom and sensitivity when sharing Jesus with Muslims, as it seeks to prevent remarks being made or printed which could cause religious enmity. Pray that churches will receive a passion and burden to minister to them. Along with Malays, there are 150,000 Indonesians including the Bugis, Riau and Madurese peoples. Pray that churches gain a passion and burden to reach them.
b) The Indian population, numbering nearly 400,000, is mostly Tamil by origin. They are predominantly Hindu (over 50%), and about 25% are Muslim. There are a number of lively congregations among Hindu groups of South Asian origin but very little outreach to Muslim groups such as the Gujarati, Sindhi, Hindi and Bengali-speaking communities of North Indian origin. Pray for effective outreach to these groups. There are also growing numbers of Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis arriving as professionals, students and transient workers in manual labour.
c) The Mainland Chinese population has grown rapidly to now number over 200,000 (some estimates are much higher). They may locate in Singapore as professionals, students or migrant workers. Some are Christian, but the majority remain unevangelized. A number of churches hold Sunday services especially for Mainland Chinese peoples. They also minister through Bible studies, English language classes and free health screenings. Singapores ethnic Chinese churches have no excuse not to effectively reach out to these responsive people.
d) Migrant workers. Numbers have greatly increased, constituting at least 33% of Singapores workforce, and it is a sensitive issue in Singaporean society. They include large numbers of Indonesians, Filipinos, Burmese, Bangladeshis, Thais, Sri Lankans and Vietnamese. There is ministry to all of these groups; pray for the right strategies, for effective follow-up and for integration of converts into local churches and home groups. Particularly needy for outreach are the Burmese (less than 2% Christian in Singapore), Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans.
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 Singapore.