Area: 912,050 sq km
About 80% of the population live along the Caribbean coastal belt in the north; the centre and south are grasslands and tropical forest.
Population: 29,043,555 Annual Growth: 1.68%
Official language: Spanish Languages: 47 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
The needier sections of society:
a) The upper and middle classes are under-evangelized but influenced by other religious groups. A number of missions and churches are concentrating efforts to reach these important groups.
b) Cities. Caracas, the capital, is one of the least-reached areas. Over one million live in the ranchos (slums), and gangs or drug barons control entire areas but there are fewer than 300 churches in the city. Churches and missions are mobilizing to reach the cities in this most urbanized of Latin American countries.
c) Students, young people and children need more focused outreach. Fewer than 20 Christian student groups (CCCI, MUEVE/IFES) exist for 100 universities, despite over 40 years of campus ministry. Many children live in poverty and have little opportunity to encounter the genuine gospel. More needs to be done to evangelize and disciple this key sector of society.
d) Prisoners live with severe overcrowding, inhumane conditions, frequent violence, torture of detainees, lengthy pre-trial detention and seemingly untouchable criminals operating within the government, police and armed forces. VOCEP and others share Christ in these dangerous places, and significant numbers are coming to faith. Pray for the safety of believing prisoners, for their spiritual growth and for their integration into society and the Church upon release.
The unreached minorities:
a) The growing Arab community (more than 130,000) has become prominent in commerce. Most are Lebanese and Syrian. Many are Orthodox and Maronite Catholics, but most are Shia and Sunni Muslims. No direct effort to evangelize them has been made, although some ministries (WEC) have a vision for outreach. There are also growing numbers of Iranians and Turks.
b) The Chinese are mostly Cantonese and are growing in number. There are several congregations of believers for the 50,000-strong community. Several missions have a ministry among them (Mennonites, CMA and WEC).
c) Western immigrant groups, such as Italians, Portuguese and Spanish, have almost no evangelical believers or outreach focused on them. There is one Messianic Jewish assembly.
For an additional 10 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 Venezuela.