|Population 10,783,000||Ethnoreligionist 2.2%|
|Catholic 82.44%||Evangelical 9.4%|
The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti and (after Cuba) is the second-largest nation in the Caribbean Sea, both in area and population. The first permanent settlement in the Americas was established on this island after Christopher Columbus landed there in 1492. The Dominican Republic has the largest economy in the Caribbean and Central America, much of which is fueled by tourism, as it is the most visited nation in the region. Nevertheless, the country is still plagued by economic disparity and high levels of unemployment.
Unofficially, Catholicism is the state religion. Although the great majority of Dominicans still consider themselves Catholic, that number has been steadily declining in recent decades, and the people who consistently practice their religion are comparatively few. While the number of professing Christians is growing, only a small percentage of those professions are accompanied by lasting fruit and continued participation in a local church.
Partnership with IBSJ
In early 2015, a few members of the team at HeartCry traveled down to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to meet with Iglesia Bautista del Señor Jesucristo (IBSJ). The purpose of the trip was to investigate the possibility of a partnership for the advancement of the work in Latin America. In previous years, HeartCry had worked together with some of the elders of IBSJ in training conferences for pastors in Peru and had come to have a great appreciation for the work the Lord is raising up in Santo Domingo. After much prayer and discussion, HeartCry has now begun a partnership with IBSJ primarily in the effort of training pastors across Latin America.
In addition to assistance for training pastors, HeartCry is also financially supporting 19 pastors through IBSJ in an undisclosed Caribbean nation. These are men that IBSJ has been training and overseeing since the mid-1990’s. The elders of IBSJ make regular trips to visit the pastors and hold training conferences, and they also occasionally bring the men over to Santo Domingo for them to spend time in the church and be further trained by the elders.