Operation World is a reference book and prayer guide, begun by Patrick Johnstone and continued by Jason Mandryk, both from WEC International. The first edition was published by Dorothea Mission, later editions by Send the Light, publishing branch of OM. The latest edition of Operation World was published by Biblica, but is now distributed by InterVarsity Press (IVP) after IVP acquired the publishing arm of Biblica in late 2011. Operation World content has been made available online at operationworld.org through GMI (Global Mapping International). It is aimed at informing Christians about every country in the world in order to encourage the church to pray for the world and to engage the world in Christian mission. This resource is written from an evangelical Christian point of view.
Operation World is regarded by most evangelicals as the definitive volume of prayer information about the world and is the recipient of the ECPA Gold Medallion Award for Excellence in Evangelical Christian Literature. It also was on the list of the 50 most influential evangelical books in Christianity Today magazine. It is intended to mobilize the church to effective intercession and world mission and ultimately, to help the global Church fulfil the Great Commission.
Operation World has been published in seven editions. The most recent is the 2010 edition, released in October 2010, the first major update since the 2001 edition. The original edition was produced in 1964 by Patrick Johnstone, a missionary in South Africa, as a 32-page booklet of basic information about 30 countries. Operation World has been translated into several other languages: Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, and simplified Chinese. Parts of Operation World have been translated into Arabic, Indonesian, Urdu, and Czech. The cumulative number of copies printed in all languages exceeds 2.5 million. The team behind the production of Operation World consists of 8-10 full-time unpaid volunteers, from six countries.
The 1,000-plus page prayer resource is also organized as a calendar-year daily prayer guide. Each 3- to 4-page daily section begins with basic information on a country’s geography, demographics, population, literacy, economy, etc. Operation World then gives a breakdown of percentage of religions, Christian denominations, and missions groups, followed by points for prayer. These prayer points are directed toward the social, political, economic, cultural, and religious life of each nation, as well as life and activity of the existing Church in each country.
Thematically, Operation World begins with global issues and world missions, then narrows to cover the six continents before it settles into a country-by-country format, covering every nation and autonomous territory.
Data is gathered from sources including primary input from national Christian church leaders, missionaries, and researchers. A consultative process is used, eliciting input and response from nearly 2,000 such contacts in every part of the world. Information is also gathered from more than 200 periodicals and journals, the plethora of news agencies, websites of churches and ministries around the world, and more encyclopedic resources such as the World Christian Database, the Ethnologue, and the Joshua Project. The Operation World database includes information on approximately 33,000 Christian denominations, 16 major religions, 1,200 missions agencies, and 16,000 fields of ministry.
Additional Operation World resources include the book in paperback, CD, DVD or ebook formats, individual country profiles and prayer maps and are all available from InterVarsity Press.
- Operation World online
- Operation World / Mission Books
- Ethnologue site
- Joshua Project site
- World Christian Database
- GMI (Global Mapping International)
- Biblica Publishing site for Operation World
- WEC International
- InterVarsity Press
- Alisse Wissman (17 November 2011). "InterVarsity Press Acquires Biblica Books". Westmont, Illinois, United States: InterVarsity Press (IVP). Retrieved 6 April 2012. "Westmont, IL—InterVarsity Press (IVP), a leading publisher of thoughtful Christian books, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Biblica Books, the book-publishing arm of Biblica Worldwide."
- Jason Mandryk, "Operation World," Biblica Publishing, 2010
- Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk, and Robyn Johnstone, "Operation World: 21st Century Edition, Waynesboro: Paternoster, 2001.