• Pray for vibrant, growing churches to permeate the island.
• Pray for increased production of Christian literature in the Papiemento language.
• Pray for authentic relationships with the living Christ among nominal Christians.
Located off the coast of Venezuela and just outside the South Caribbean hurricane belt, the island of Curacao shares its name with an alcoholic drink made from bitter oranges exclusive to the island. First conquered by the Spaniards in 1499 and taken over by the Dutch in 1634, Curacao soon after became a trade island, its indigenous peoples captured and enslaved, as well as an important smuggling, privateering, and slave trade base. Curacao has been a constituent nation in the Kingdom of the Netherlands since 2010 and is the largest populated island in the area. Prior to 2010, it was a part of the Netherlands Antilles along with four smaller and less populated islands.
Curacao has a free port and is home to the largest ship repair dock in the Americas. It also has one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean. With its semi-arid climate, consistently warm temperatures, and a rainy season that supports sparse vegetation, the island is well suited to tourism, which accounts for 84% of the economy, and the island is dotted with many resorts and casinos. Curacao has one of the world's largest oil refineries and this major part of the economy used to represent as much as 90% of exports.
Ninety percent of the population proclaim Christianity, with most of those part of the Roman Catholic church. Like much of Latin America, the Pentecostal church has grown steadily since the 1970s. Curacao is also home to the oldest active Jewish congregation and continuously used synagogue in the Americas. Despite all this and a history of religious freedom, widespread misunderstanding of the Gospel message persists, as evidenced by growing marginal sects, nominalism, and superstition. Bible literacy and discipleship are key to renewing the Christian population.
Continent: North America
Capital City: Willemstad
Government: Parliamentary democracy
Major People Groups: 72% Antillean Creole; 8% West Indian Black; 8% Dutch; 4% Dominican Mulatto; 2% French West Indian
Religion: Christian 93%, Agnostic 4%, Spiritist 1%, Buddhist 1%
Language: Papiamentu, Spanish, Dutch, Virgin Islands Creole English, Guadeloupean Creole French
GDP Per Capita: $24,500
Literacy Rate: 97%
POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 0.5%
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