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
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Ministry to 30 Amerindian tribal peoples by evangelicals has met opposition from anthropologists, leftist politicians, the government and some Catholic priests. The work of NTM and MAF was effectively ended by government decree in 2005. The indigenous peoples themselves have not been consulted much in this process, but illegal gold prospecting and expanding cattle ranching threaten their lands and their health. Pray for:
a) The opportunity for every Amerindian people to hear the gospel few still live in their traditional ways that some would protect.
b) Churches to reach the few remaining unevangelized tribes. Venezuelans of AoG and ADIEL (Evangelical Free Church) have well-established tribal works; other Venezuelans are taking up this challenge in places where expats have been forced out.
c) The continued ingathering of the Guajiro, Maquiritare, Yanomami, Panare, Motilone and others into culturally appropriate churches. Most of the larger tribes have significant and growing churches.
d) Bible translation work continues in 11 languages. There are still 14 language groups with no Scripture. Pray for Gods Word to transform these peoples and equip them to survive the inevitable encroachment of Venezuelan culture and all the trappings of civilization.
Mission work by evangelicals is difficult. Obtaining visas for religious purposes is often a battle in faith; the government increasingly refuses applications and the process is slowing. The governments hostility toward Western groups can at times be compounded by Catholic hesitations regarding evangelicals. Expats are now all but prohibited from evangelizing Amerindian groups. But there is a great need for more missionaries for urban church planting and Bible teaching ministries. Pray for good relationships between expatriates and national workers, and for open doors for those called to serve here. The largest missions: CLC, BIM, CCCC, AoG, TE, Church Resource Ministries.
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.