Costa Rica: Facts and Prayer Needs

18 Jul

In light of the upcoming mission trip to Costa Rica (which happens in five days, by the way!), I thought it would be a good idea to do some research on the country and share what I learn with my blog readers and the people who will be travelling with me.
It’s funny; this will be my fifth trip to Costa Rica and yet I’ve never actually sat down and researched it.  So that’s what I’m doing this morning.  I got a lot of this information from Jason Mandryk’s book Operation World.  I highly recommend it.

Costa Rica:
Area: 51,100 square kilometres
Population as of 2010: 4,639,827
Christian: 93.94% (Mostly Catholic)
Non-religious: 4.17%
Ethnoreligionist: 0.80%
Chinese: 0.53%
Baha’i: 0.28%
Other: 0.13%
Buddhist: 0.10%
Jewish: 0.05%
Official State Religion: Roman Catholicism
Life Expectancy: 78.7 yrs
Political Information: Independent of Spain in 1821.  Stable, multiparty democratic government.
Literacy Rate: 95.8%
Official Language: Spanish (Spoken by 93.9% of population)

Prayer Needs:
1. Evangelical churches lose almost as many as they gather due to:
a. Failure to disciple new converts
b. Under-resourced pastors
c. Rivalry and divisions among and within denominations and congregations
d. Rigid legalism and  failure to enculturate the Gospel
2. Ministry to young people is greatly needed, given that two-thirds of Costa Ricans are under the age of thirty.  Alcoholism, drug addictions, violence, and immorality are huge issues among the Costa Rican youth (I’ve lost a couple of friends due to these reasons, so it weighs heavy on my heart.)
3. Missions.  Pray for cooperation and fellowship among missionaries and missions agencies in Costa Rica so that their efforts are used to their fullest potential.


2 responses to “Costa Rica: Facts and Prayer Needs

  1. Lisa DeCourcey

    July 18, 2011 at 12:48

    This is great information, Shannon. I find it interesting that you don’t remember ever researching Costa Rica, though. We did a homeschool unit study on Costa Rica before your first mission trip there. You were only 11, so I guess you’d forgotten. It’s cool for me to compare what you thought then to what you think now–your passion for missions has obviously grown over the years!

    I’m praying for you and the team as you prepare this week! I love you and I’m so proud of you!

  2. Dannielle Zarn

    July 19, 2011 at 06:20

    Thank you Shannon! This is very useful information. I spent 3 years in Catholic schools and know a bit about how superstition is such a big part of Catholicism in Central America. Combined with what you shared here is a great reminder that we need to keep God’s word in our hearts. My experience is that there is very little Biblio taught in the Catholic church and so the people are easily tossed to and fro. They don’t even know enough to know that they needs God’s Word. Very sad, but I am thankful that there are missionaries who can help them know better. Love you!


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