Area: 41,293 sq km
Mountainous land; 25.7% agriculturally unproductive. The Swiss Alps are one of the greatest tourist attractions in the world.
Population: 7,594,561 Annual Growth: 0.41%
Capital: Bern (admin); Lausanne (judical)
Official language: German, French, Italian, Romansh Languages: 26 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
The Arbeitsgemeinschaft Evangelischer Missionen (AEM), formed in 1972, strengthens and coordinates missionary vision and outreach, especially in the Free Churches. There are 45 member agencies, representing nearly 1,500 long-term missionaries. The Fédération des Missions Evangéliques Francophones (FMEF) has the same vision for the French-speaking Protestant churches in Switzerland, France and Belgium. Mission21, &Eactue;change et Mission(DM) and other groups connected to the Evangelical Alliance serve in similar capacities. Pray for greater awareness and sense of responsibility in Swiss churches for world evangelization, and of support for the commendably large missionary force.
Less-evangelized peoples include:
a) Cantons. The German-speaking cantons of Luzern, Zug, Schwyz, Unterwalden and Uri, the largely Francophone Valais and Fribourg and the Italian-speaking Ticino are culturally Catholic with few evangelical groups, although there is increased openness in several Catholic cantons.
b) The more than 100 foreign nationalities. Switzerland has the highest proportion of foreign residents of any major state in Europe. The major cities are becoming internationalized Geneva is 45% non-Swiss! A number of agencies and churches are committed to ministry among them. Most are linked to Arbeitsgemeinschaft für interkulturell Zusammenarbeit (AgiK). Some of these minorities are highly unevangelized. Others, such as Latinos and Africans with over 200 congregations, are actually contributing to outreach in Switzerland.
c) Religious minorities. Not long ago, almost every person in Switzerland would have been either Catholic or Protestant. Today, around one in seven considers himself non-religious. Muslims account for as much as 6%, with many other religions appearing and growing rapidly. Swiss society and indeed most Swiss Christians are ill equipped to handle these changes in religious population. Pray for clear and loving outreach to these new faith communities.
For an additional 8 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 Switzerland.