Guyana faces various threats. Venezuela and Suriname both claim large parts of Guyana’s land. The two main political parties divide along racial lines (Indo-Guyanese versus Afro-Guyanese). The land is rich in biodiversity and natural resources, but is at risk of exploitation by foreign companies and interests. Due to a lack of economic opportunities, many people emigrated, including many of the most talented. Pray for hope to come to Guyana, and for the gospel to transform society.
There is a vital, vibrant, growing evangelical witness, and evangelicals are found in all levels of society. Pentecostal, charismatic ("clap-hand") and evangelical denominations and fellowships continue to grow despite negative population growth. Churches are still largely divided along racial lines, but the multiracial congregations that do exist are some of the few ethnic bridges in the country. The cross-denominational work of the Guyanese Evangelical Fellowship is vital in this area. Pray for all believers to demonstrate the power of the gospel in their unity, in their words and in holy living.
Most Afro-Guyanese and mixed-race Guyanese are Christian, but nominalism is widespread, stable two-parent families rare (a legacy of the time of slavery) and syncretistic and deviant beliefs common. Obeah Spiritism and witchcraft, Rastafarianism and foreign sects as well as the racist Nation of Islam are influential here. Pray for the true and uncorrupted gospel to radically impact these communities.
The Indo-Guyanese population is mostly Hindu, but with large and equally sized Muslim and Christian communities.
The Amerindian peoples are largely Christianized and predominantly Catholic, but significant numbers are also becoming Pentecostals through the ministry of AoG, Church of God and the Full Gospel Fellowship. UFM's work in the south among the Waiwai, Macushi and Wapishana has resulted in a growing, missionary-minded Church. Pray for the development of indigenous Christian leadership and mature churches that can retain their cultural identity and still survive the impact of modernity.
Ministry among young people is vital because family life, further education, employment and the future in general are great challenges. Most evangelical denominations have work among youth. IFES has an extensive ministry with 12 full-time staff and more than 200 groups at primary, secondary and tertiary levels where they reach over 12,000 students every week. Praise God for many decisions to follow Jesus; pray for effective discipleship.
Medical ministry is both important and fruitful. With limited medical facilities and widespread AIDS (Guyana has the second highest prevalence in the Caribbean region) and malaria, Guyana is in need of better medical care. The loving testimony of Christian medical workers from many groups, including YWAM and Operation Guyana, opens many doors for the gospel to be shared.
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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.