Need for New Churches in Bicol

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Need for New Churches in Bicol • God's Preparation of His People • White unto Harvest in the Philippines • Our "Window" of Opportunity • A Call to Missions • 50/50 Porthole • A Guide to Praying for Missions

Legazpi City with Mt. Mayon in the background. There is a tremendous need for new churches in the Bicol region.  The following report was compiled by the DAWN 2000 organization.  The purpose of their study was to research the current condition of churches throughout the Philippines, in order to be able to asses the need of new churches  throughout the country.  The Bicol region is one of the areas in greatest need of new church plants, according to this study.
Legazpi City, Albay, with Mount Mayon in the background.



Bicol region consists of six provinces – Albay, Camarines Provinces, Sorsogon, Masbate and Catanduanes. The region is mainly agricultural. The Bicol dialect is spoken by 76% of the population although there are variations in tone and world meanings. Masbateño is tone and world meanings. Masbateño is another common language used by 9% of the people mostly in Masbate. Tagalog (8%) and Cebuano (6%) are used in some parts of the world region.

HARVEST FIELD:                             

Bicol is predominantly Catholic region. Only about 3% of the region is evangelical. Catholicism is embraced by 95% of the population. Iglesia ni Kristo and Jehovah Witness came out strong in the provinces of Bicol. There 2,782 barangays in Bicol that do not have a church. In these barangays 4.5 million people do not have an access to a Bible believing church. Bicol is one of the highest regions in church to population ratio in the country (1:4,333). The need is greatest in Camarines Norte.


In 1990, there were only 800 churches in Bicol. After 10 years, the harvest force added 279 new churches. The church is small. The average number of people is 49 with Catanduanes which has the least number (37 members per church). Most of the new church plants belong to the Independent and Full Gospel groups.


Only 20% of the barangays has a church. There are 2,782 villages that do not have church. The task in Bicol is great but the churches can trust God that the work can be done. In order to impact 97% of the unsaved population, the work needs to rely on the power of God. The need to triple the number of churches (4,000) demands trusting God that the big work can be done.


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Last modified: September 15, 2006