Area: 244,110 sq km
Two main islands: Britain and the northeast of Ireland. A union of four countries: England 103,400 sq km, Scotland 78,800 sq km, Wales 20,800 sq km, Northern Ireland 14,100 sq km. Also three small autonomous states that are dependencies of the British Crown: Isle of Man 588 sq km (in the Irish Sea); Channel Islands 194 sq km (Guernsey, Jersey).
Population: 62,129,818 Annual Growth: 0.54%
Official language: English; in Wales both English and Welsh. English is the primary language of 400 million in the world, as well as the major language of international communication for over 1.4 billion Languages: 15 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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Immigration remains a massive challenge, but is also an utter necessity and an unavoidable reality. The seat of British Empire now draws many from the far reaches of its former domains and beyond. There are an estimated 600,000 to 900,000 illegal immigrants in the UK. Fully 70% of net population growth in the next 25 years is anticipated to be from immigration; in some boroughs and towns more babies are born to immigrants than to citizens. Pray with an eye toward:
a) A core identity and purpose for Britain. Without a cultural centre or core set of values around which to build a multi-cultural society, disintegration and division will triumph. Pray for Britain to regain a sense of what makes it Britain; pray that these values would celebrate and reflect what God rejoices in.
b) Integration. Unwillingness or inability to adjust to life in the UK and lack of support and welcome for many immigrants all contribute to the creation of ethnic ghettoes.
c) Criminal and terrorist threats. Immigrants tend to suffer lower rates of employment and education, and higher rates of poverty and crime. They are much more vulnerable to exploitation by human traffickers, crime lords and religious fanatics. The number of people who enter the UK with the intention of criminal or terrorist activity is of course unknown, but it is far too many nonetheless. Pray for all who intend to exploit, disrupt or destroy to be thwarted by the authorities.
d) Christian and mission impact. Immigration, a trend reviled by reactionaries, also brings great blessing to these shores. Christian immigrants have staved off even greater declines in mainline churches and brought new life to many recent movements. Reverse mission is an undeniable trend, with around 1,500 Christian missionaries coming into the UK from the Americas, Africa and Asia. Immigration has also brought many unevangelized peoples right onto the doorstep of gospel-oriented churches. Thank God for these twin blessings; pray that both might be fully utilized to see new churches planted, new peoples reached and Jesus glorified.
For an additional 15 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 United Kingdom.