There have been demonstrations again and again, both in Western and Eastern Congo, for many reasons, including the failure to pay government employees’ salaries, the corruption of some leaders, and especially the massacres in eastern Congo (where I live) by the ADF-NALU militia.read more
Twenty-two countries in Africa list English as an official language, the remains of a shared colonial history. Geographically, culturally, and religiously diverse, these Anglophone African nations span the continent, from Kenya and Tanzania in the east to Sierra Leone and Liberia in the west to South Africa and Botswana in the south.
In some countries, such as Kenya and Zambia, the Church has grown at a remarkable rate over the last century, and Christians now represent a substantial majority of the total population. In countries like Nigeria, the population is more evenly divided between Christians and Muslims. In a small number of English-speaking nations, like Sierra Leone and Sudan, Islam is the dominant religion.
Over the last year, the continent has avoided the worst of COVID’s direct impact, although South Africa, along with several urban centers, has seen especially high cases. While factors across Africa’s 55 countries differ, researchers point to the continent’s younger population, large rural areas, and rapid responses by governments that have faced epidemics before as reasons for why COVID has not been as deadly as initially feared. However, the pandemic’s secondary effects on the economy and food supply remain a significant threat to most of the population and may require years of recovery.
Even as several countries in Anglophone Africa had experienced economic growth, perennial challenges related to poverty, government corruption, and political instability remain. Especially in areas where Christianity is strong, the Church has the potential for significant influence. As the Church has grown, so also have theological schools. Hundreds of schools provide pastoral training and more than a dozen Evangelical schools now offer high-quality PhD programs. In response to the pandemic, many are working hard to teach through online platforms despite weaker Internet infrastructure.
Pray for Christian leaders in Anglophone Africa as they help the Church address significant issues such as religious and ethnic violence, political corruption and instability, poverty and disease, rapid urbanization, and biblical discipleship.
Photo: “View of Kilimanjaro from Amboseli National Park, Kenya” by Sergey Pesterev on Unsplash.
We are under a partial lockdown from 5pm until 5am daily. Typically crowded places like restaurants, malls, churches, and mosques are completely closed until permission from the government. Actually, it has not been easy to stop Sunday worship meetings and all gatherings in our church building. We had to cancel our Holy Week and Easter services in the spring. This has especially challenged traditional Christian communities, especially those with their own liturgies and rituals.read more
With heavy hearts, we request prayer for the people of Lebanon, after two explosions on August 5 killed 150+ people, wounded 5,000+, and displaced 300,000+ in Beirut. The blasts damaged buildings several miles from the port, where fires had detonated 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, sending shock waves that reached neighboring Cyprus. Several leaders in the ScholarLeaders community live and minister in and near Beirut. We have communicated with each of them and, thankfully, they have all survived and are now participating in cleanup and relief efforts.read more
In Palestine, things are getting more complicated politically, unfortunately. With the news of the proposed Israeli annexation of the West Bank, the future is all the more uncertain. It is in these times that we need to firmly place our faith in the Lord, and to continually pray for justice and peace in our region.read more
In Lebanon, the governance system is based on power sharing between Christians and Muslims. In theory such a system underwrites coexistence, but in practice it is a recipe for division and inter-communal conflict. As community gatekeepers, clergy have been framed as part of the problem, but I am investigating how they can be part of the solution. I hope my research can contribute to peacebuilding in Lebanon and to creating an environment that encourages Gospel growth.read more
Like most churches in Romania and beyond, our church has been holding Sunday church services on Zoom and YouTube, but we are slowly attempting to get out of Internet mode. We are trying to move out of a state of emergency into a transitional state of alertness.read more