Brazil

BRAZIL – Federated Republic of Brazil, Latin America

Brazil occupied one-half of the land surface and population of South America with the capital Brasilia. The world’s fifth largest country in both area 8,511,965sq. km and population 195,423,252. Brazil is a melting pot of nations, with much intermarriage and blending of the many immigrant ethnicities. Official language is Portuguese.

Vast natural resources combine with a huge labour force to create an emerging economic superpower, especially in agriculture. Sustained strong growth has pushed the crises of the 1980s behind and has stabilised the economy. One great challenge will be to increase agricultural space without traumatising the precious Amazon and Pantanal ecosystems – stewardship versus exploitation. There is a vast gap between rich and poor, but this is improving significantly.

CHALLENGES FOR PRAYER

The nation and government have made great strides but still face massive challenges. Pray about the following:
Endemic corruption and cronyism have been addressed aggressively, and idolatrous structures are crumbling. Pray that future governments would not shirk from the painful but necessary process of excising all that is putrid and corrupt.
Poverty still affects tens of millions. Admirable reforms and progress are being achieved, but a significant proportion of dwellers in large cities still live in poverty-stricken, crime-ridden favelas, and the education and health care sectors are in serious need of improvement. The poor, especially street children and indigenous peoples, often suffer terrible discrimination and exploitation.
Crime is a serious problem. Brazil is the world’s second-highest consumer of illicit drugs and has the world’s highest rate of firearm homicides. The police response has been brutally heavy-handed and rife with corruption, and the nation’s prisons are notoriously overcrowded and violent. Unprecedented breakthrough, spiritual and social, is needed to turn this around.
Racial differences may not seem an issue in the ethnic melting pot of Brazil, but statistics bear out a different view of Brazil’s complex racial context.

Brazil is a spiritually open country, for good and for ill, and is probably more Spiritist than Catholic in underlying worldview. Pray for all spiritual falsehoods to be exposed as such and for Christ alone to be exalted as Lord in Brazil; pray for those in actual spiritual bondage to be delivered through Jesus. Catholics in Brazil number more than in any other country, but the Church itself remains in crisis. Pray that the Bible and its truths may mould the lives of Catholics and Protestants.

The emergence of evangelicals in Brazil has been dramatic. Yet despite the growth it is more numerical rather than spiritual growth is the emphasis of too many groups, to the point of dishonest inflation of numbers and disregard for discipleship. As a result, churches have “multiplied”, but congregations are filled with immature, unfed spiritual infants whose faith is overly based on emotionalism, petty legalism and the personality of leaders. Pray for a right balance between expectation of blessing and daily sanctification.

Leadership models are sorely lacking, as witnessed by the scandals and moral failures of some high-profile leaders characterised more by their wealth, power and lack of accountability than their humility and faithfulness. Effective appropriate training is a key to addressing this issue. Pray for wise and creative solutions to this challenge.
Unity. Evangelical denominations have mushroomed in the last 20 years as new groups form with almost every theological disagreement or inter-personal conflict. Pray for the Evangelical Association of Brazil to be a means of fostering lasting unity, fellowship and prayerful cooperation.
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The challenge of the less-reached regions. Brazil’s evangelical population is very unevenly distributed; the northeast and south in particular lack an evangelical presence. Pray for the squalid favelas, who are a highly visible blight in every major city, for poor and underdeveloped northeast, for the Amazon basin, larger than the whole of non-Russian Europe. Pray that the Church may find effective means to break through into these groups. Pray also for The Yanomami (12,000 pop in Brazil), who straddle the Brazil-Venezuela border, for the Guarani and Kaiwa on the Paraguay borden. Their land has been invaded, despoiled and thoroughly robbed and many are rapidly dying out through a wave of suicides, diseases and malnutrition/infant mortality. poisoned by over 1,000 illegal gold miners.

The indigenous Amerindians have endured centuries of prejudice, oppression, massacre and exploitation, which continue to this day by encroaching woodcutters, gold prospectors and ranchers. Their unique cultures are disintegrating through despair, disease, substance abuse and suicide. Pray that will become the change in attitude of Brazilians to see these peoples as national treasures rather than as nuisances who slow the rapid but shortsighted development in the Amazon and Pantanal.

Immigrant peoples. Pray for a greater missionary burden by the Brazilian Church for these peoples and for effective outreach and church planting among them. Those groups are large such as the 1.5 million Japanese, over 200,000 ethnic Chinese and 150,000 Jews, who have been settling here since the earliest colonial days.

The younger generation is fairly large (26.8% of the population) and very much in need. There is a serious shortfall of ministry directed toward children and young people; churches are only now tailoring ministry to their unique evangelistic and discipleship needs. If these are not met, all the gains of this generation could be lost in the next. Pray for:
a) Children at risk. Remember before the Lord:
The 8 million children at risk. Pray for the many churches and agencies with orphanages, homes of refuge and ministries of rehabilitation and training.
The many threats to such children’s lives: drug abuse, prostitution and particularly murder, either in gang violence or by police death squads (2,000 murders every year).
The 7 million child labourers.
The 600,000 girls involved in prostitution.
University students face many pressures, from educational to moral to financial.There are nearly 2 million tertiary students in Brazil. Pray for more workers to minister to them.

PROJECTS IN BRAZIL

for more information please contact Zuzana

LIST OF USED LINKS AND BOOKS

Jason Mandryk; Operation World, The definitive prayer guide to every nations; Printed in the United States of America; 2010; 978p.