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.

Pray for Our World: Somalia

Somalia is part of the Horn of Africa, east of Ethiopia and Kenya. The economy has been devastated by warlords and civil wars, and the narcotic leaf qat that keeps the desire for many Somali men to work. Millions are dependent on aid. The Cold War provided them with weapons, which brought them to civil war. Later, the Islamist group Union of Islamic Courts emerged as a national power, and seek to enforce order through shari’a law. Somaliland and Puntland in the north declared their independence from Somalia and set up its own government, but they are not recognized internationally.

There is an infant Somali Church that is emerging amid great tribulation. Somali Christians are despised, heavily persecuted, and martyred, but they are also growing. Islam is not a religion of peace, but of submission. There is only peace if you submit, and then it is not an everlasting peace that Jesus promises. The government admits that Somalis are no longer 100% Muslim, but they still insist that all Somalis remain Muslim. There is a Somali translation Bible but it is not allowed in the country. Pray for the Christians and the Church there, that they may be strong and persevere in their faith, and bring others to the same saving faith through grace of Jesus Christ.

Pray for Our World: Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a small coastal state in central western Africa. It is rich in natural resources – diamonds, gold, titanium, iron ore, cocoa and coffee. It was founded as a home for freed slaves in 1797, and has been independent from Britain since 1961. Anarchy from militant and guerilla groups in the 1990’s caused the economy to collapse and it became possibly the most desperate country on earth. Since 2002, It has been slowly trying to rebuild.

Sierra Leone was the first West African country to be evangelized. The first Protestant church started in Freetown, among the freed slaves in 1785. However, it has been difficult for the country to overcome its occult influence and darkness of evil spirits. There is an urgency among the people there now. The country is quickly becoming Islamized. Pray that they will receive more Christian support in missions, leadership and Bible translations.