Most Belizeans profess Christianity, but only 10% of the population attend church regularly. People need to encounter the true gospel in ways that are meaningful and sensitive to their culture. The Spanish-speaking immigrants sometimes mix Truth with superstitions, the Mayans with paganism, and the Garifuna with black magic. Pray for revival and spiritual conviction for any confusion in beliefs.
Evangelicals have steadily grown from 4.6% in 1960 to 19% in 2010. Challenges to be tackled:
- Widespread legalism in churches, where appearances and knowledge hold sway over true spiritual transformation. Pray for revival and a holy dissatisfaction with the spiritual status quo.
- Pastors are stretched, with 70% of pastors forced to work bivocationally. They recognize a great need for training - but distance and cost prohibit centralized, formal training programmes.
- Unity is an uphill battle against significant cultural and denominational diversity. Barriers among churches are formidable and persistent. Pray for initiatives that will break down these walls and draw together Hispanic, English, German and Mayan-speaking believers.
Many missions, especially short-term, have saturated this small nation. Much has been positive, particularly in the areas of medicine/health care (especially in the remote and poorer areas), literacy and training. But the never-ending presence of mission-trippers creates dependency, which actually undermines the national Church. Pray for fruitful partnerships that empower and require true sacrifice by all for Kingdom purposes.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.