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Guatemala

Introduction

The nation of Guatemala is located in Central America bordering Mexico, El Salvador, and Belize. Its capital is Guatemala City, and alongside with their entire territory, the country has a population of 16.6 million people. Before it was colonized by the Spanish in 1519, Guatemala was the birthplace of the Ancient Mayan Civilization which stretched from southern Mexico to western Honduras. Today, well over half of Guatemalans are direct descendants of the ancient Mayans, and they speak 22 Mayan-based indigenous languages. After Guatemala gained independence from Spain in 1821, the nation endured years of instability and violence that came from poor government leadership. This friction automatically led to a genocide of the civilian population from 1960-1983. In 1996, a peace treaty was signed by Guatemala government and Guerrilla groups to end a civil war that lasted for 36 years. The end of the war was meant by many as a sign for progress, however, gang and organized crime violence, drug trafficking, according to Prayercast, still test the government and police. It is also reported that more than half the population in Guatemala is living in poverty and over 40 percent of the children under the age of five are malnourished.

The Church

According to the US Department of State in 2019 statistics, 45% of Guatemalans are Roman Catholic while 42% are Protestant/Evangelical. This is a huge jump from 2007 statistics which listed Evangelicals to be at 33% of the population. Before the mid-20th century, Catholicism was the king religion of the region until the early 1970’s when Evangelical churches took root. Even though there has been a revival of Mayan religious traditions, the rise of church planting among indigenous groups continues grow and make a huge impact. According to Prayercast, all tribes in Guatemala have been reached with the gospel because of the gigantic efforts that ministries from bible translators to social activists have deployed in this nation. To the day, the revival that took place in the little village of Almolonga keeps bearing fruits not only in Guatemala but within the whole continent.

Prayer Points 

• Pray for the local church, missionaries and those serving in organization that promote social change.
• Pray for the local church to keep making discipleship their priority. Also pray for the church to impact the younger generations.
• Pray for the children at risk on the streets of Guatemala, as well as the organizations that are working in that area.
• Pray for their government and the men and women serving in places of authority to serve their nation and lead them under the fear of God.

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