• Pray for the local church to reach out spiritually and economically to the 500,000 people living in slums.
• Pray for love and caring from Christians toward large numbers of immigrants.
• Pray for national church support for Argentinian missionaries being sent to foreign Muslim areas.
In the 16th century, rumors of silver drew Spanish explorers to southern South America. They named the land Argentina after the Latin word for silver (argentum). Silver was never found, but the Spanish stayed, establishing a colony in 1580 at Buenos Aires. Sadly, European diseases wiped out most of the small native population, and today 97% of the population is European - mostly Spanish and Italian. Argentina's people are highly educated and predominately urban. As the second largest country in South America (after Brazil) and the eighth largest in the world, Argentina boasts many climate variations and stunning scenery, including the Patagonian Andes Mountains, the central plains of the Pampas, and a long Atlantic Ocean coastline that nearly touches Antarctica. The tango, personalities such as Evita Peron and Che Guevara, as well as the invention of the public bus, the ballpoint pen, and the coronary bypass reflect the spirit and ingenuity of the Argentine people.
Argentina gained her independence from Spain in 1816, but it wasn't until the late 1800's that a national unity government was in place. The years that followed were marked by internal political clashes, dictatorships, and military factions fighting for control of the government - even into the late 20th century. Democracy was finally restored in 1983 and remains to this day. At the turn of the 20th Century, Argentina was one of the world's ten wealthiest countries due to its agricultural resources and its entry into the world economy. The Great Depression of the 1930's as well as political and social changes halted further growth. Only since 2003 has the economy seen some consistent recovery, though many Argentines live in poverty as even more have moved to urban areas, and the gap between the rich and the poor has increased.
Most Argentines are Roman Catholic, but only one-fifth of them are practicing. Protestants and other Christian segments are well established, as is the largest Jewish community in South America. Social, economic, and political difficulties have created a spiritual hunger in Argentina that has drawn many to Christ, but many are also being deceived by cults, the occult, and other non-Christian religions. One of the largest unreached peoples in Argentina is the urban professional, but the nation's poor also require the church's attention as well, especially in Buenos Aires where one-third of the nation lives.
Continent: South America
Capital City: Buenos Aires
Major People Groups: 97% Spanish, 3% Mestizo
Religion: 92% Roman Catholic, 2% Protestant
GDP Per Capita: $15,200
Literacy Rate: 97.2%
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. - John 14:14
Source: Rayo de Mar: Ezequiel Paredes
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