Area: 504,783 sq km
The major part of the Iberian peninsula and Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. Also included are the Canary Islands off northwest Africa and the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the North African coast.
Population: 45,450,497 Annual Growth: 1.02%
Official language: Catalán, Galician and Basque are official languages in the respective autonomous regions. Castilian (Spanish) is the only official language for all the Spanish territory. Spanish is the first language of over 340 million people; the world’s third most widely used language Languages: 21 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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Key groups for outreach. Pray for these:
a) The Basques are an ancient and proud people without a single Euskera-speaking Protestant church. The Basque ETA movement terrorizes and polarizes society in the Basque region. There are fewer than 100 evangelical churches in the four provinces where Basques live (Guipúzcoa, Vizcaya, Alava and Navarra) and all of these are Spanish-speaking. The few Basque-speaking evangelicals there find it difficult to worship or witness in their own language. Only now are Christian resources in Euskera appearing. The differing dialects in an already difficult language complicate the task. Pray for those involved in ministry, including AoG, YWAM, WEC and OM. Pray that centuries-old suspicions and fears, and the reserve of the Basque people, may be broken down.
b) Muslims may number over two million and are growing rapidly. The Moors ruled much of Spain for 700 years, and Muslims long to win back what they lost. The vast majority are immigrants from Morocco, but from many other African nations as well. South Spain is a key base area for many agencies committed to evangelizing Muslims in North Africa and in Spain; very few have been won to Christ. Pray for the Malaga Media Centre and the Ibero-American Institute of Islamic Studies (PMI). Pray for Muslim hearts to be opened and for believers in Spain to reach out in love.
c) Chinese numbers have increased to over 100,000. COCM, CMA and OMF work among them. There are now over 30 churches among the Chinese, who still number only 2% Christian.
d) Drug addiction is a blight on Spain (see ), which has one of Europes highest rates of heroin and cocaine addiction. This in turn is a major contributing factor in the AIDS epidemic and the crime rate. In their centres across the country, RETO, REMAR and Betel (WEC-related) successfully rehabilitate drug addicts. RETO has 80 rehabilitation centres and ministers in 25 countries. REMAR has communities in 175 Spanish towns and works in 58 countries. Betel ministers in 80 urban areas and has planted churches in 21 countries. Over 100,000 former addicts have been set free, and many of them won to Christ through these vital ministries.
e) Young people need the gospel, having given themselves over to postmodern materialism and hedonism. They distrust organized religion. Their lifestyle is based on experience. Ministry to them must be highly relational and authentic. The IFES-linked student movement, Federación de Grupos Bíblicos Universitarios de España, has 35 university groups with 400 students a tiny drop in the bucket of over one million students. Alongside GBU(IFES), AGAPE(CCCI) also works among students in several universities. Contra Corriente, an indigenous Spanish ministry to young people and students, possibly has the greatest impact. A growing number of alternative and underground ministries among young people are proving effective.
f) The elderly and retirees. This is a growing segment of the population, both among Spaniards and immigrants which will only get larger in the future. Some ministries are already proving quite effective in outreach to this generation; Doukonia is one such example.
Pray for the effectiveness of these Christian help ministries:
a) Bible translation. New versions are being produced in regional languages and in dialects of Spain. A conversational Spanish Bible, an Aragonese NT as well as Bibles in Euskera (Basque), Galego (Galicia), Asturian, Catalan and Romani are examples. Pray that many will read and be impacted by these translations.
b) Christian literature is a major factor in church growth, although literature work is expensive and bookstores hard to finance. Pray for Christian bookstores; CLC has six centres and a distribution network serving evangelical bookstores throughout Spain. Pray for more Christian authors who can write from a truly Spanish perspective.
c) Pocket Testament League impacts Spain through literature, well-publicized research and promotion of missionary vision.
d) Christian radio. Evangelicals run over 90 radio stations. However, licensing for evangelical radio remains a problem, while Catholics easily obtain AM, FM and TV licensing.
e) Christian TV. There are now around 30 small evangelical TV stations, all without a licence but tolerated by the state. Evangelical programmes on public TV maintain an evangelical presence in the secular and mainstream media.
f) Internet. There are countless evangelical websites in Spanish. Protestante Digital is Spains leading evangelical news agency. Solidaria is a Castilian TV channel on the Internet and satellite, run by REMAR. Pray for the growing number of Internet radio stations in Spanish.
g) Christian camps are a ministry through which many youth in Spain come to Christ. Some 37 evangelical camps do wonderful work in evangelism, discipleship and leadership training. Pray for their continued impact and effectiveness in breaking down negative preconceptions of evangelicals and in winning many to Jesus.
For an additional 11 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 Spain.