In partnership with an established Baptist Church in the city, European Christian Mission are beginning a new church plant in Alta de Lisboa. This newly developed area of 32,000 people on the northern edge of Lisbon currently has no evangelical church. Already involved in friendship evangelism, discipleship of new believers, and in community projects with a local community organisation, the team hopes to see a small group of new converts established with regular worship meetings and evangelistic outreach over the next 5 years. Please pray that this vision becomes a reality.
The majority of the population is still linked with traditional Catholicism, with a strong emphasis on the veneration of the Virgin Mary. Nevertheless, many people are bound up in old traditions of paganism and the occult - 90% of the population consult spiritist mediums. Please pray that Jesus would show that His power is greater than any other spirit. Pray too that the concept of Mary being the Queen of Heaven will be questioned among the people and that in their eyes the Lord Jesus will be lifted to His rightful place. Finally, praise God for the fact that the number of Bible-believing Christians has exploded from 55,000 to over 300,000 in the last 25 years.
Evangelicals in Portugal grew in number during the 1990s but are still hampered by divisions and a lack of full-time workers. Also, despite this growth, there are still areas in the north of the country where there are few evangelical churches. Portugal has been neglected in missionary thinking in the past and still tends to be forgotten today. Pray for a new generation of workers to put Portugal on the map and see the Lord build His Church.
Braga is one of the biggest and oldest cities in Portugal, known as the 'city of the archbishops' because of its huge churches. It is also one of the most youthful cities of Europe with two universities and a student population of about 17,000. GBU-Braga, the local IFES student movement, is very small - only about eight to ten students. Nevertheless, they meet together regularly, holding Bible study groups which are open to all students as well as building relationships with international students. Praise God for the eagerness of Christian students to study the Bible and learn more about what it means to be a Christian and pray that their outreach, both to Portuguese and international students, may bear much fruit.
Population: 10,309,573 (2016)
Official languages: Portuguese
GDP (PPP) per capita: $30,193 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 81 years
Religions: 85% Catholic, 9% Atheist or Agnostic, 2% Protestant, 4% other religions