URBAN SAINT PAUL
The Nations at Our Door
The Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul metroplex currently numbers over 4 million. The two vibrant cities, established in the mid-1800s on the banks of the Mississippi, Minnesota, and Saint Croix Rivers, have grown to become the cornerstone of the second-largest economic center in the Midwest.
Known for their ethnic and cultural diversity, over 200 languages are spoken in the cities. Saint Paul is home to the largest population of Hmong (Laotian) and Karen (Myanmar) refugees in the United States. The cities together have the largest Somali, Oromo (Ethiopian), Liberian, and Anuak (Ethiopian/Sudanese) populations in the U.S. Additionally, there are large and growing concentrations of Tibetan, Hispanics, Russian, Indian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Chinese peoples. Both Saint Paul and Minneapolis are sanctuary cities, making them a draw for undocumented workers by offering legal protection and assistance.
From a biblical perspective, the religious and moral climate of the Twin Cities is dismal. For the past several decades, the migration of evangelical churches from city to suburb has had a devastating effect. Temples and mosques replace vacant church buildings. Homelessness abounds. Further, as clear biblical preaching and gospel witness has drastically weakened in the cities, people have abandoned the Church, sensing no connection to their daily lives. This is particularly true for young Millennials, who have come to age largely ignorant of any biblical truth. According to the religious statistics profile in Saint Paul, over 49% of the population recorded their religious affiliation in the “none” category. This is a staggering increase of 76% in ten years.
Pray that our Lord would raise up an army of evangelical pastors in our cities who preach boldly from the Bible alone. Pray for God's people to share the gospel as ministers of mercy to the ever-increasing number of refugees. Lastly, pray for Saint Paul and Minneapolis, that our Lord would break hardened hearts and call out a large harvest of souls for His glory.
Sources: Arrive Ministries: Refugees in Minnesota - Mpls StarTribune: Fastest Growing Religion is 'None' - J Mayer, City View Report: Twin Cities - Wikipedia
Population 8.5 million — No religious affiliation 49% — Detached religious affiliation 40% — Evangelical Christian 4%