Area: 27,834 sq km
A mountainous, fertile country on the northeast shore of Lake Tanganyika, south of its twin Rwanda.
Population: 8,518,862 Annual Growth: 2.92%
Official language: Kirundi, French. All speak Kirundi. English use widespread Languages: 4 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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The socio-political situation is one of cautious hope. There have been many encouragements, but threats to the fragile new peace remain. The final rebel group, the FNL, signed the peace accord only in 2008. Pray for these key issues:
a) Decades-old enmity between Tutsi and Hutu that boiled into a violent eruption claiming 300,000 lives in the 1990s has simmered down with the peace accord and representational government. The systematic humiliation of Hutus has all but ceased, leading to a more peaceful co-existence. There is widespread intermarriage between these groups. Pray for genuine respect and cooperation as these two peoples build Burundis future together.
b) The president is a former leader of a rebel Hutu group. He is a believer and has actively sought the counsel of Church leaders on several issues. His relative political inexperience, his past as a rebel fighter and Satans desire to tear down Christian leaders each pose a danger; pray for moral integrity, wise advisors and spiritual grace to do the right things in the right way.
c) The surplus of firearms from decades of conflict contributes to the sudden rise of violent crime, especially armed robbery. With widespread poverty and no proper disarmament programme, such an occurrence was almost inevitable. Pray for the effectiveness of disarmament and gun amnesty programmes, many of which are run by church bodies; pray for people to hand in their weapons and pursue peace rather than lawlessness.
d) Widespread corruption persists, with bribery all but requisite for transactions of almost any nature. A 2008 survey ranked Burundi among the top states where corruption is worsening. The anti-corruption body has failed in its efforts to bring improvement. Pray for the lasting change only the gospel can bring.
Christian media specific prayer targets:
a) Bibles and Christian literature there remains a great shortfall. Prayer for millions more Bibles and Christian books would not be amiss. The African Pastors Fellowship, Anglican Church and Langham Partnership are collaborating to foster writing and publishing books in Kirundi, especially for pastors. Several other Christian literature ministries exist as well.
b) Literacy programmes the adult literacy rate is 58%, but the functional rate is lower. This situation is steadily improving because of free primary education and increasing numbers of churches and NGOs with literacy programmes.
c) Radio TWR and IBRA combine to broadcast over 170 hours per week, but less than 10 hours are in Kirundi. Voice of Hope Radio is a Burundian Christian FM station reaching from Bujumbura out to Burundi and neighbouring countries. Pray for life to be imparted through these broadcasts.
d) Audio GRN has audio resources in Kirundi and African French. FCBH completed the Kirundi audio NT, and has seen over 115 listening groups established.
e) TV and video A French African Christian programme, Le Club 700, is on national television every week. The JESUS film has been viewed by most Burundians. Heritage Television provides daily Christian programming. Pray for lasting impact.
For an additional 5 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Burundi.