Pray for Our World: Tunisia

Tunisia, located in northern Africa, is a mountainous region to the north and part of the Sahara desert to the south. It is the site of several notable ancient civilizations, and more recently, the movie site for the Star Wars desert scenes.

The Carthaginian Empire, the first of the notable ancient civilizations in this area, was a Phoenician state from the 7th to 3rd centuries BC that expanded into northwest Africa. Berber Christians, of the Early African Church, next came to the area during the Roman era. Saint Augustine was one of the most famous Berber Christians. Later, the Arabs invaded the area after the 7th century and Christianity began to disappear. Today the country is 99.37% Muslim. Islam is the state religion, and all other religions are not favorable. Most Christians remaining in the area are expats. Pray that the message of the Early African Church ancestors will once again be revived to this area.

Pray for Our World: Togo

Togo is only 56 km long on the Atlantic African coast but the land stretches 650 km northward between Ghana and Benin.  Coffee and cocoa are the main cash crops. Democratic progress has been made in recent years, since independence from France in 1960 and subsequent military coups. There was a period of intense anti-Christian rhetoric in the 1970’s. Several religious groups were banned, with only Muslims, Catholics and five Protestant churches legally permitted to function. By 1990 nearly all restrictions have been lifted, and Christianity has expanded, particularly evangelical and pentecostal movements from West African pastors. There are still many voodoo and animistic societies that intensely oppose the gospel. Pray that the light of Christ and the Gospel will break through the darkness that still holds much of the land.

Pray for Our World: Tanzania

Tanzania lies between Kenya and Mozambique on the eastern coast of Africa. There are 150 indigenous ethnic groups, with the Bantu peoples being the majority. Tanzania is an “island of peace” among many surrounding troubled nations. They have maintained stability over the last 50 years after becoming independent from Britain. They have complete freedom of religion, and religious harmony among both active Christians and Muslims is remarkably high. Christians are mostly Protestant, with a large number of evangelicals and pentecostals. There is widespread poverty, and most of the churches lack resources, discipleship and Bible knowledge. Pray for more missionaries and aid, Christian literature, and Bible translations, so that the people can grown and learn more about their faith.

Pray for Our World: Swaziland

Swaziland is a small, landlocked enclave between Mozambique and South Africa. Mainly agricultural, most of the trade is with South Africa. However, the prevalence of AIDS has seriously affected their economy. It was a British protectorate from 1899-1968 and then became democratic, but the outrageous wealth of the monarchy among this poor country is a highly charged issue.

In Swaziland, the consistent sowing of the gospel over the last 160 years has led to a strong Christian community with a solid core of believers and regular church attenders. It is encouraging to see how a small, faithful sowing of the gospel over the years has reaped many benefits. Pray that they will continue to be faithful and lead others to Christ.

Pray for Our World: Sudan

Sudan is Africa’s largest country, in the middle of the continent, straddling the Nile Rivers. There are over 597 ethnic groups and subgroups, making it one of Africa’s most diverse populations. About 60% are Arab. Since its independence, aggressive Arabization and Islamization have provoked violent resistance from many areas, which caused greater discrimination, war and genocide by the government and military against its own people. Accused of harboring international terrorists, Sudan endures hostile relations with most, if not all, of its surrounding neighbors.

The people of Sudan have only known war in their modern history. Slavery and persecution still exist. Yet, there has been a massive growth in Christianity, from 1.6 million in 1980 to 11 million today, mainly in the southern area which is less of a Muslim majority. The crisis in Darfur brought much Christian aid to the area. African missionaries have been increasing as well, from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya and other nations. Still, much work is to be done. Only 10 of the 114 languages have a full Bible translation, and Christian literature is in short supply. The Jesus film has been used extensively in 21 languages with a large population having seen it with great response. Pray for the missionaries and churches, for more Bible translations and literature, and the safety of the people – things we all take for granted in our daily lives.