The official name of New Zealand is a Maori word, Aotearoa. Its two main islands (North Island and South Island) lie 1600 km southeast of Australia. This has to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The capital is Wellington (350,000), although the principal city is Auckland (1.1 million), which like many other settlements in New Zealand is built atop extinct or dormant volcanoes. 77% of the population are Europeans, 18% Polynesians. (Yes, native New Zealanders are part of the same ethnic group as the Hawaiians.) Independence was won from Great Britain in 1907.

Official languages are English and Maori. Annual per capita income is about $16,000, or half that of the US. As for religion, 62% of New Zealanders profess to be Christians, although the society is quickly succumbing to the consumeristic and secular spirit of the west. Would you please pray for your brothers and sisters in New Zealand today? And also for some 4 million lost souls of New Zealand?

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