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Prayers Needs for El Salvador

Facts at a Glance

Area : 20,752 sq km (8093 sq mi)
(slightly smaller than the state of Massachusetts in USA)
Population : 6,353,681 (July 2002 est.)
Capital city : San Salvador (pop 1 million)
People : 94% Mestizo (Spanish-Indian), 5% Indian, 1% European descent
Language : Spanish, some Nahua
Religion : 75% Roman Catholic, 20% Protestant
Preside nt : Francisco Guillermo Flores Perez

Briefing Background

The smallest country of the Central American countries, El Salvador is bordered by Guatemala, Honduras and the Pacific Ocean. Most of the country is known as the land of volcanoes: frequent and sometimes very destructive earthquakes and volcanic activity; extremely susceptible to hurricanes. Volcanic activity has resulted in a thick layer of ash and lava on the highlands and is ideal for coffee planting.

El Salvador achieved independence from Spain in 1821 and from the Central American Federation in 1839. El Salvador experienced numerous revolutions and was against other Central American republics. From 1931 to 1791 El Salvador was ruled by a series of military dictatorships.

A 12-year civil war, which cost about 75,000 lives, was brought to a close in 1992 when the government and leftist rebels signed a treaty that provided for military and political reforms. This was the result of the 1970s discontent with societal inequalities, a poor economy and the repressive measures of dictatorship. Peace and democratic change have developed against all expectations since 1992.

Hurricane Mitch devastated the country, leaving 200 people dead and over 30,000 homeless. In 2001, major earthquakes struck El Salvador, damaging about 20% of the nation's housing and left 1,200 dead.

El Salvador, which is Spanish for "the Savior" - or Jesus Christ - has always had a strong Roman Catholic identity. The majority of Salvadorans in the late 1980s were at least nominal Roman Catholics, and church rituals permeated the nation's culture and society. The Catholic Church opposed oppression and human rights abuses during the war. There is extensive activity by Protestant groups throughout the country; by the end of 1992, there were an estimated 1 million Protestant evangelicals in El Salvador.

Prayer Points

1. Pray that God's grace will help this country to recover from the social and psychological wounds of centuries of oppression and 12 years of civil war. Pray for repentance, reconciliation and a fair society based on respect for human rights.

2. Pray for the victims and their families who still suffer from successive natural disasters, to be encouraged and comforted so that they can have more strength for the rebuilding and repair operation. Pray for those who are trying to provide help and hope that they would follow God's direction.

3. Pray that the leadership of the churches will be multiplied, trained maturely, and be filled with the Holy Spirit so that they will be more effective for His Kingdom in El Salvador.

4. Pray for over 350,000 children who were abandoned during the war. Orphanages, counseling, education and job opportunities for these scarred young people is important.

5. Pray for the peace and prosperity of El Salvador and for all those in authority, that they may live peaceful and quiet lives.


Patrick J StG Johnstone, Robyn J Johnstone and Jason Mandryk "Operation World: When We Pray God Works - 21st Century Edition." Pages 236-238 in El Salvador, Published by Paternoster Lifestyle, 6th edition, 2001

BBC News - Country Profiles / El Salvador

CIA - The World Fact Book 2002 - El Salvador

Library of Congress / Federal Research Division / Country Studies / Area Handbook Series/ El Salvador, The Role of Religion in Social Dynamics in Chapter 2)

Information Please: On-Line Dictionary, El Salvador

Food for the Hungry - Earthquake Victims Need Help Rebuilding in El Salvador

Daily Bible
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians  5:1


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