One of the most beautifully humbling characteristics of God’s Kingdom is that it is not dependent upon any one person or organization. This is especially true in Honduras, which has been blessed with many people, both foreign and Honduran, who have labored to share the Gospel. Before POI ever came to this beautiful country, God was at work making His name known.
So what is the history of God’s work in Honduras?
The first whispers of Christianity came to Honduras in 1521 with Franciscan missionaries.1 Present day Honduras is predominantly Roman Catholic because of this early and continued influence, but for many years, the Catholic Church was dependent upon outside support for its leadership. Many of the layworkers and priests in Honduras were actually expatriates. As late as 1989, only 23% of Catholic priest in the country were Honduran.2
It took some time before Protestant missionaries arrived, but between the late 1700s and early 1800s several denominations began to send missionaries.3 Despite various missions efforts during the next hundred years, the Gospel did not take root quickly. There were very few Protestant believers and congregations were often concentrated in specific regions.4
In the 20th century God began to stir the hearts of many Protestant churches to see the need in Honduras. Hundreds of new missionaries came to the country, mainly after World War II.5 They didn’t see new believers immediately, but these faithful men and women planted seeds that God would honor years later.
In the last thirty years, the Gospel has exploded in Honduras! Since the 1980s, there has been a significant increase in the number of Protestants in Honduras.6 According to Operation World, 23% of Honduras is now evangelical. Not only that, but within the last decade these Honduran Christians have begun to look outward and develop their own vision for missions.7 Hondurans are now missionaries to other countries.
Honduran Christians desire to see the Gospel flourish both at home and abroad. However, due to financial difficulty, many of them lack the resources and education we are so blessed to have in the USA. Partnering with our Honduran brothers and sisters to help them spread Christ’s love in their own country is a great way we can be part of what God is still doing in the hearts of Hondurans. POI is proud to partner with the Hondurans God is using to write the next chapter of His story in Honduras.
- Joel M. Cruz, The Histories of the Latin American Church: A Handbook (Minneapolis:Fortress Press, 2014), Page 368.
- Clifton L. Holland, “An Historical Profile of Religion in Honduras,” The Latin American Socio-Religious Studies Program / Programa Latinoamericano de Estudios Sociorreligiosos (blog), http://www.prolades.com/cra/regions/cam/hon/honduras.html.
- Cruz, Page 369.
- Janet N. Gold, Culture and Customs of Honduras (Westport:Greenwood, 2009), page 63.
- Gold, page 63.
- “Honduras,” Operation World, http://www.operationworld.org/country/hond/owtext.html.