African soil is rich and fertile. Where the Word is planted, great are the fruits born from the laborers’ toils. Please pray for our endeavors in the following nations.
Kenya Malawi Mozambique Tanzania
Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe
In a land where English is an official language alongside Swahili, the Republic of Kenya boasts a population of approximately 41 million souls, with over 3.5 million residing in the capital city of Nairobi. Freedom of religion is guaranteed in the constitution with 82% of the inhabitants embracing the Christian faith; 8% claiming Islam; 7% are ethnic religions; the balance is shared among Baha’i, Hindu, Sikh, and others.
Among Christians, 33% embrace some form of Protestantism; 24% are independent; 22% are Catholic; and the rest is shared among Anglican, Orthodox, and more. Nearly 50% of the population claims to be evangelical with Pentecostal churches in the forefront.
While one might wonder why evangelism is needed in a country where the majority of the inhabitants claim affiliation with Christianity, not all is as it seems. As in many parts of Africa, Islam is on the rise. Blending of Christian and traditional African beliefs is a significant problem. Insufficient leadership, divisions, poor spiritual accountability, and an uneven distribution of churches, are also problematic. An estimated 500 persons per day die from AIDS, leaving a tremendous impact on families and the economy.
IPICM has been asked to minister in Nairobi and the surrounding region, which we hope to do so once our work is firmly established in its southern neighbors. We will likely plan for evangelism and church ministry in the city, but because it is the hub for numerous mission organizations, we plan to visit other areas in pursuit of God’s choice for evangelistic meetings. Beyond evangelism, prospects for ministry include revival services (less than 10% of Christians attend church) and leadership training.
The Republic of Malawi is a small, stable and peaceful country in southeast Africa, nestled between Tanzania to the north, Zambia to the west, and Mozambique to the south and east. Numbering 16 million inhabitants, English and Chichewa are official languages. On average, 76% of the population claims to be Christian; 17% embrace Islam; 7% prefer traditional African religious beliefs; the remainder is divided between Hindu, Baha’i, and non-religious groups.
The Christian population is almost evenly divided between Protestants and Catholics, with Protestants numbering just over 29% and Catholics 23%. The remainder is independent or unaffiliated.
Among the greatest concerns faced by most Malawians are the national debt, unemployment, and AIDS related challenges, with over 1 million individuals infected with HIV. AIDS is currently the leading cause of death for ages 20-49, resulting in 500,000 AIDS orphans. Adding to the need for Christian outreach is the advance of Islam. Muslim money is increasing influencing education, medical aid, the building of mosques, and more.
IPICM has already held various meetings in Lilongwe (the capital with a population of more than 780,000), Blantyre (730,000 persons), Chilumba, Mzuzu, and at Mchinji; a location on the border with Zambia. We receive regular requests to lead church revivals and conduct seminars. Our focus is generally on leadership training, discipleship, citywide and prison evangelism, and revival. In June and July 2013, the School of Ministry held its first classes in Lilongwe and Blantyre. An evangelistic-healing crusade is scheduled for Blantyre in June 2014.
The Republic of Mozambique is one of the larger countries in southern Africa. Ravaged by civil war, famine, floods, and AIDS, between 1990 and 2010, over 1 million lives were lost and the displacement of many others was great. Although Portuguese is the official language, it is understood by less than 30% of the population. Nationwide, there are 43 spoken languages.
With a life expectancy of less than 48 years, Mozambique has a population of more than 24 million, with 47% claiming to be Christian. An additional 32% of the inhabitants are ethno-religionists; 18% embrace Islam; less than 1% are Hindu; with the remaining 2% claiming no religious beliefs. Since the peace treaty of 1995 between warring factions, Mozambique has enjoyed religious freedom.
Among Christians, the majority, 21%, are Catholic with independent churches following at 19% and Protestant denominations at 11%. Anglican, Orthodox, and marginal affiliates round out the remaining at about 1% each. Syncretism, legalism, and nominalism are prevalent within the church, with 80% of its leadership lacking formal training.
Mozambique continues to suffer from disease, natural disasters, poverty, and soaring debt. Over 5 million cases of malaria are reported each year. More than 16% of the adult population suffers from HIV.
IPICM’s goal is to reach many souls through evangelism and affect revival in existing churches. Following a visit to Tete (a city of just under 200,000 people) in June 2014, groundwork is expected to be laid for a future evangelistic-healing crusade.
The Republic of Tanzania holds a population of over 45 million people. Incredibly, 45% of the inhabitants are under the age of 15 years due in large part to the AIDS epidemic in recent years. A majority of the populace (about 54%) claim a Christian heritage; over 31% are Muslim; around 13% are ethno-religious; with small populations of Hindu, Baha’i, and Sikh. English and Swahili are the 2 official languages.
The prevalent Christian expression is Catholic, which boasts a solid 27% of the public. Protestant denominations number 17%, with Anglican churches at just over 7%. Surprisingly, the evangelical portion has grown from 2.4 million in 1990 to 8 million over the past 20 years.
One of the poorest countries in the world, Tanzania has its fair share of problems. According to one publication, “The Muslim community is increasingly polarized between moderates and Islamists . . . . Witchcraft is widespread and permeates both Christianity and Islam. Spiritual superstitions and outright occultism incur great financial expense and often result in sexual abuse or even death for the victims of such practices.” (Mandryk, Operation World, 7th ed.) Numerous villages remain unreached and where there are churches, many lack solid Bible teaching.
IPICM has already ministered revival and healing in Kyela (31,000 inhabitants). At the invitation of a Pentecostal denomination, IPICM plans to hold a future evangelistic-healing crusade.
Information on Uganda will be updated in the near future.
Located in southeastern Africa, the Republic of Zambia is inhabited by 14 million souls; 46% under 15 years of age. Surprisingly, life expectancy is just over 44 years. All religions are accepted by the government with over 87% claiming to be Christian; nearly 11% holding to traditional African beliefs; a mere 1% are Muslim; the rest are Baha’i, Hindu, or claim no religious preference.
Protestantism is the dominant Christian expression at about 38%. Catholicism comes in at 29%, with 11% claiming independence. Anglican and Orthodox share a small presence. Incredibly, evangelicals have moved from a mere 3.8% in 1960 to 25.7% in 2010.
In addition to poverty and AIDS, other pressures exist. Christian spirituality is looked upon by some as consisting of poor quality, with many believers’ faith being nominal at best. This should come as no surprise considering the significant presence of traditional beliefs and practices.
IPICM has held meetings at the Zambia-Malawi border community of Mchinji and in Chapata (nearly 100,000 persons). Leadership training through the School of Ministry began in July 2013.
Directly north of South Africa is the English speaking Republic of Zimbabwe. A country of mixed extremes, Zimbabwe is by all rights a land of great beauty with a coveted climate to match; but with economic woes that have utterly devastated its people. For this reason, the United Nations has estimated that somewhere between 25% and 50% of the population has fled to surrounding countries in recent years. The life expectancy is barely over the 43 year mark, with 38% of the population averaging less the 15 years of age.
With a heavy hand in religious affairs, politics has often interfered with religion, but even so, many faiths are represented. Of the principal religions, Christianity enjoys a presence among 78% of the population; ethno-religionists share 19%; Muslims number just over 1%; Baha’i, Hindu, Jewish, and Buddhist beliefs all share less that 1%; with atheism amounts to less than 2%.
Within Christianity, 45% of the population aligns itself with some form of independent church. Protestants number 23% of all believers; Catholics hold a margin of 9%; Anglicans average 3%; marginal beliefs account for little more than 1%. Further examination reveals 30% to be evangelical; 46% charismatic; and 24% Pentecostal.
Hyperinflation and mass unemployment only head the list of this ailing country’s needs. At one point, inflation reached 1 billion percent, resulting in the government’s printing of $500 trillion notes. Unemployment reached a high of 90% at its worst. Education and health care systems can only be described as having suffered from meltdowns. In the Christian community, churches frequently find it difficult to work together over theological differences. Also, a syncretistic mix with witchcraft and other occult practices continues to plague many believers.
IPICM is in the planning stage for bringing both ministry and leadership training to Zimbabwe. The overall outreach will be patterned after successful practices and policies already put into place in Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania.
International Partners in Christian Ministry, IPICM