The most basic problem for Honduras is deep poverty. Children form more than half the population, and most live in poverty. Many try to reach the USA to find family members there, but often end up suffering in prison in Mexico or Guatemala. Honduras has more pepenadores (garbage dump children) than any nation in the Americas. Violent gangs exploit vulnerable children as members and sex workers. Honduras has 60% of Central America’s AIDS cases. Organized crime and maras (gangs) link with drug cartels and hold power in society. Pray for moral courage for Hondurans to stop the spread of AIDS. Pray for righteousness, and for wise government that works equally for rich and poor.
The government faces an uphill battle in establishing true stability and order. A young nation, Honduras' colonial past and military rule for most of its independence mean that democratic structures and mentalities must be nurtured. Corruption within the government, preferential treatment of the rich minority and prevalent poverty make the nation vulnerable to structures of sin. Pray for righteousness and for wise and resolute governance.
Catholicism's influence is rapidly declining. In some polls, the 80% affiliation rate is reportedly as low as 47%. The greatest factors contributing to this decline include the lack of indigenous personnel, widespread nominalism, the influence of animism/paganism within the Church and large-scale migration to evangelical churches. Only about 20% of Catholics are actively involved in the Church. There is considerable agreement between Catholics and evangelicals on communal and social issues. Pray for a Holy Spirit-driven revival to sweep through the Catholic Church; the impact of this could still transform Honduran society.
The growing number and influence of evangelicals is praiseworthy, as is the greatly increasing number and size of many congregations. La Cosecha ("The Harvest") is a Foursquare church with a weekly attendance of 20,000, despite being founded only 20 years ago. Sadly, much of the progress among evangelicals in Honduras is undermined by their fragmentation into countless denominations and the resulting jealousies and isolationism. In part, this is due to the imported divisions and rivalries brought in by missionaries. Pray for the Confraternidad Evangélica (founded in 1987), which represents 90% of evangelicals in the country. It works to cultivate fellowship and cooperation across denominations.
Leadership training becomes ever more vital as the number of congregations continues to grow. Many seminaries and Bible schools face difficulties (costs, staffing, cooperation), enhancing the importance of networks of TEE programmes run by various denominations. Pray that the trainers might impart biblical knowledge and be models for spiritual ministry.
Amerindian peoples have partially assimilated into Spanish culture. Among the Lenca, WGM and CAMI are working to great effect. The peoples of the eastern forests (Miskitu, Garifuna, Sumo and Tol) retain more of their cultural identity. In recent years many have come to Christ. MOPAWI (Mosquitia Pawisa), an indigenous body founded on Christian principles, is dedicated to development of local cultures, to community projects and to advocacy of full equality under the law. Baptists, Christian Fellowship Mission, Miskito Missions and others work among the very poor but responsive peoples. Pray for healthy development of churches among them and for all forms of exploitation to end.
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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.