Where We Are Going
We are working in Arequipa, Peru. It is the second largest city in the country of Peru. It sits at about 7,800 feet in elevation and is surrounded by three major volcanoes. The population is just over 1,200,000 people according to the 2017 census which we were a part of! A large percentage of its population is the urban, middle class in the city. We, however, work in the outskirts in an area called Ciudad de Dios. This is a developing community with dirt roads and is mainly low class and under-educated families.
Spiritual Need -
The religion predominantly practiced in Peru is Roman Catholicism. Peruvians are people of strong tradition and have had Roman Catholic roots for hundreds of years. While very "religious", many in Arequipa are nominally Catholic at most. Many people are caught up in the traditions and rituals that exist in the church and are less likely to be open to the good news of the gospel. Only 3% of those in Arequipa would consider themselves Evangelicals. Outside of the city, you will find many poorer communities that also believe in Animism and the worship of created things rather than their Creator.
There is a great need in Arequipa for the gospel. The religious culture makes it difficult for the gospel to be heard and accepted.