• Pray for spiritual maturity throughout the rapidly-growing evangelical church.
• Pray for the Spirit of God to transform lives within sprawling urban slums.
• Pray for missionaries to be sent to areas and roughly 130 tribes unreached by the Gospel.
Christ the Redeemer looks down with open arms on Brazil, but so many in Brazil need to look to Christ to be redeemed.
Since 1931, a 120-foot tall statue of Jesus with his arms outstretched and his head angled downward toward the city of Rio de Janeiro has stood at the top of the 2,300-foot Corcovado mountain. Voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, the statue, named Christ the Redeemer, reminds people of both the compassion and sacrifice of Christ.
Down below in the city, however, Jesus' presence is less visible. Though more than 74% of the country's people identify themselves as Roman Catholic and another 16% identify themselves as Christian, Brazil is a nation struggling with nominalism and spiritism.
Of the 200 million people in the nation, 40 million Brazilians live below the poverty line. While the richest 10% of Brazilians garner nearly half the income of Brazil, the poorest 10% get less than 1%. In Rio de Janeiro, where "Christ the Redeemer" stands overlooking, 20-25% of the city's population lives in slums called favelas. Within these slums, hundreds of thousands of street children find themselves trapped in drug addiction, prostitution, and violence, and many suffer from AIDS.
In the Brazilian rain forest, a human tragedy is well-hidden. It is the ever shrinking population of indigenous Amerindians, who in 1500 A.D. numbered over 6 million but today number less than 250,000. Even as these tribes' physical existence is threatened within the rain forest, their opportunities to hear the gospel and know eternal life are threatened by an increasing number of restrictions on missionaries that seek to reach them.
Despite all of these sober facts, the number of evangelical believers in Brazil continues to grow and it has become a missionary-sending nation. From high atop Corcovado mountain, "Christ the Redeemer" reminds us that Jesus continues to redeem the people of Brazil and is sending them to bring the gospel of salvation to the rest of the world.
Continent: South America
Capital City: Brasilia
Government: Federal presidential republic
Major People Groups: 51% Brazilian White (Branco); 22% Brazilian Mulato; 12% Brazilian Mestico; 11% Brazilian Black; 1% Japanese
Religion: Christian 91%, Spiritist 5%, Agnostic 3%, New religions 1%, Atheist 1%
GDP Per Capita: $14,100
Literacy Rate: 93.20%
POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 0.1%
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