• Pray for repentance and deeper commitment from the predominantly Christian population.
• Pray for professing Rastafarians to come to a full knowledge of Jesus Christ.
• Pray for effective cooperation among the many Christian organizations already established in country.
A vibrant cultural treasure, the Caribbean island of Jamaica boasts a luxurious beauty that draws visitors from around the globe. Located south of Cuba, this mountainous island has a spirit that far exceeds its size, and it enjoys a spirited cuisine and lively art and music scene. But not far from the glittering hotels and fancy restaurants are crowded and impoverished ghettos. Widespread crime and extremely high murder rates paint a different picture of this tropical nation, as do serious issues of human trafficking, child labor, and cocaine transport.
The Arawaks, a South American people, were the island’s first inhabitants. After Christopher Columbus’ arrival in 1494, the Arawaks were brutally replaced by African slaves. In 1670, Britain gained control of Jamaica and established a plantation-based economy on the island. With the abolition of slavery in 1834, 250,000 slaves were freed, and many took up independent farming. Today, over 90% of the population is of African descent – the most influential cultural force. The island’s former heavy reliance on fluctuating mineral exports was cause for instability, but the more recent boom in the tourism industry generates enough revenue to maintain reasonable economic stability.
With a strong Christian heritage, evidenced in the national anthem’s opening line “Eternal Father, Bless our Land,” Jamaica continues to be largely open and accepting of the Gospel. With one of the highest number of churches per square miles in the world, there is no lack of spiritual resources. Even so, many of the nation’s professed Christians do not regularly attend church and fail to live lives of holiness. Spiritual revival and fervency for the Gospel are greatly needed among Jamaicans. The Church must also exert its influence in the nation’s troubles. The poor social situation has opened doors to church partnerships with the government to curb violence and rampant injustice.
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. - John 14:14
Source: Jamaican Gospel - Give Me Jesus - Judith Gayle; Minstrelcraft
Continent: North America
Capital City: Kingston
Government: Constitutional Parliamentary Democracy
Major People Groups: 93% Afro-Caribbean, 5% Asian, 1% Euro
Religion: 84% Christian, 10% Rastafarian, 5% Non
GDP Per Capita: $4,600
Literacy Rate: 87.9%