Pray for Sierra Leone




Pop 5 .8 million. Capital Freetown (901,000). Christians 769 ,000. Evangelical Christians 229 ,000. Largest Religion Muslim. Fastest Growing Religion Muslim. Largest Ethnic Groups Atlantic (38.4%), Mande (32 .1%), Krio/Creole (11.4%), Malinke (8.3%), Fulbe (4.8%), Susu (3.2 %). Official Language English. 10% of population speak Krio (Creole) as a 1st language, and 90% as 2nd language. All Languages 26. Economy Rich in natural resources (diamonds, gold, titanium, iron ore, cocoa, coffee, fish, other). Conflict and the failed political state resulted in economic collapse, and made it perhaps the most desperate country on earth! Order resumed from 2002 , but much outside aid required to survive. Could prosper if it can overcome corruption and rebuild infrastructure. Widespread poverty and high unemployment (up to 80%). Politics Founded as a home for freed slaves (1787). Violence from the nearby Liberian civil war (1990) spilled over and led to governmental collapse. Followed by years of military coups and guerrilla wars over control of diamond fields in the southeast, ending with a failed state. Intervention by the British military defeated the rebel forces. Democracy restored in 2002 with successful and peaceful elections.

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1) The nation now moves forward, away from its tragic recent history. Thank God for the end of 11 years of chaos that claimed up to 100,000 lives, crippled many thousands, and harmed most of the population in some way. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission helps former fighters return to their communities and start again. Christian agencies work to rebuild the country and minister to spiritual, physical, and psychological needs.

 2) Sierra Leone has ranked as the world’s poorest country for most of the last 10 years. It has the highest infant and mother mortality rates, and widespread disease (malaria, HIV, others). Life expectancy stays around age 47. Most people long for safety, stability, food, work, and for honesty from leaders. Corruption threatens to overturn the newfound peace. Pray for God to fulfil these longings, and for no further violence to come.

3) Secret societies and their occult influence shape the country deeply. Spiritual evils led to the greed and cruelty of the darkest times, and continue to influence society today. Many Christians compromised their spiritual purity, and the Church lost its power. Pray for God to bind these dark powers, and to break the influence of secret societies. Pray that Christians will live lives of faith, and will depend on Jesus alone for provision, protection, and power.

 4) Churches must be places of compassion, healing, and forgiveness for the orphans, former child soldiers or slaves, the victims of rape and amputation, those who suffer mental trauma, and also for those who committed these deeds. Many congregations, buildings, organizations, and especially relationships must be rebuilt. The first Protestant Church in West Africa started in Freetown in 1785 among freed slaves. Yet after over 200 years of effort, only 13% of the country claim to be Christian. In addition to Bible training, pastors must prepare for counselling, spiritual warfare, and ministry to the poor and disabled. Sierra Leone needs many more workers for holistic ministry, leadership training, and Bible translation.

 5) Pray for the least reached. The more animistic people groups (Bom, Kuranko, Loko, others) come to Christ more quickly, but some also turn to Islam. Islam grew from 10% to 60% of the population in the 20 the century, in part through the UN peacekeeping forces. Troops from South Asia built mosques wherever they were stationed. Pray that Christian witness to Muslim peoples (Fula Jalon, Krio Fulani, Mandingo, Susu, others) will be clear and bold, and also sensitive and humble. Most Christian outreach goes to animists, even though Muslims also respond to the good news.