Pray for Djibouti




Pop 879,000. Capital Djibouti (577,000). Christians 15 ,000. Evangelical Christians 1,200. Largest Religion Muslim. Fastest Growing Religions Muslim, Non-religious. Largest Ethnic Groups Somali (61%, 3 major clans in southern half of country), Afar/Danakil (28%, in northern half of country), Arab (8%). [Breakdown is only an estimate, and does not account for Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees and the fluctuating Somali population, including refugee camp population.] Official Languages French, Arabic. All Languages 10. Economy Lacks water, arable land, and natural resources. Dependent on French aid and military bases. The best assets are its strategic location, and the deep-water ports and railway (a trade link for Ethiopia). 50-80% unemployment and high levels of qat (drug) consumption burden the potential workforce. Politics French control from 1884, though the boundaries covered a centuries-old conflict zone between Afars and Somalis. Independent from France since 1977 as a multiparty republic. Civil war in the early 1990s. In 2002 shari’a law was replaced by a Family Court.

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1) Djibouti enjoys peace, but suffers under serious social and economic problems. Western military presence helps create an atmosphere of calm and safety. Pray that the Islamist voice that seeks to make Djibouti conform to its own values will not destroy current freedoms. Serious national problems include widespread famine, extreme unemployment, human tracking, prostitution, and drug abuse.

 2) The government recognizes only 3 Christian Churches: the French Protestant Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. But a few other Christian groups exist. Missionaries find work here a challenge with the hot, dry climate and desperate poverty. Physical and spiritual oppression, ethnic tensions, and so few believers, all lead to discouragement among workers. Many leave the field. Pray for the work in education, public health, literature, Bible translation, literacy, and youth ministry. Pray for God to send long-term workers, especially from nearby countries and people groups. Pray for the spiritual breakthrough that is long awaited but still unseen! 

3) The few Somali and Afar believers often suffer many pressures from relatives who may reject, beat, or even kill them for leaving Islam. Tribal loyalty and jealousy can create division among the believers, and they resist meeting together. Pray for a new bond of unity! Several evangelical fellowships exist among recent immigrant groups from Ethiopia, Madagascar, Congo-DRC, the Philippines, Eritrea, and elsewhere. Many of these congregations share a strong spiritual burden to reach the Somali and Afar peoples. Pray for unity in Christ among them all, as a witness to the divided and hostile peoples of Djibouti.

 4) Pray for the peoples of Djibouti:

 • Th e Afar live mostly in Ethiopia and Eritrea, where there is little witness to them, and there is no known church among them in Djibouti.

 • Th e Somalis in Djibouti, although smaller in number, can be a key for evangelization of thei kinsmen across the border.

 • Local Arabs and Yemeni Arabs need a specific approach for their spiritual needs. There is no workamong them, although believers can interact more freely here than in Yemen.