The Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador are home to some of the most exotic and beautiful species of animals in the world. These islands are just one of many natural wonders that make Ecuador such a beautiful country. At the equator in western South America, Ecuador includes sections of the Amazon rain forest while the Andes Mountains, speckled with ruins of the Inca Empire, tower over the Pacific to the west.
Despite its beautiful landscape, Ecuador has long been marred by political turmoil and poverty. The country’s history has been filled with corruption and rebellion. With political stability always in question, the economy has never been able to support Ecuador’s nearly fifteen million people. While higher global oil prices have helped to reestablish the economy, 35 percent of Ecuadorians still live in poverty.
The Catholic Church in Ecuador has found its position being challenged in recent years by the increasing number of Evangelical churches. It has even resulted in violent actions against churches. Yet the impact of the gospel continues to spread. In 1967, only 120 of the 3 million Quichua were Christians. Today in some areas, almost 50 percent of the Quichua people have come to know Christ as their personal savior.