Area: 322,463 sq km
On the west African coast between Ghana and Liberia. Rainforest in the south and savannah/highlands in the north.
Population: 21,570,746 Annual Growth: 2.31%
Official language: French, used by a high proportion of the population. Jula is the most widespread indigenous language, used as a trade language in the north and Abidjan Languages: 93 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
Islam spread and grew rapidly during the 20th Century, from 5% in 1900 to near 41.8% today. Tribal groups in the north and pockets of tribes all over the country are becoming Muslim. Urban concentrations of Muslims are high as are conversion rates among new immigrants to the cities. Sadly, many southern Ivoirian Christians have aligned themselves with the president and his political agenda, and have thereby undermined their potential for genuine witness to northerners; foreign Christian witness may be the most effective way to reach the north. Pray that Christians may be zealous to win non-Muslims while they can and to show humility and love for them. Pray for the healing of the north-south ethnic divide created by politicians, which is making outreach to Muslims even harder than before.
Demographic sectors of society needing the gospel:
a) Abidjans exploding population has doubled in the last 15 years to five million in the metropolitan area, making it the third largest city in the Francophone world. It is the strategic key for evangelization of Côte dIvoire, Mali and Burkina Faso. All people groups of these latter two lands have a significant community in the city, but most are neglected by the Church. Over 2.5 million Muslims, roughly half of the city, are scarcely touched with the gospel. Missionaries from CAPRO, SIM, CMA and the Baptists are a mere drop in the bucket of church planting needs. Many new congregations are started every month, but these focus on already-Christian peoples.
b) AIDS is a major problem in the country, although HIV prevalence rates have gone down to 4.7% of the population still nearly one million people. The large majority of those HIV-positive are women. Both the government and many Christian ministries (CMFI, REMAR, Church of God) are doing good work in terms of awareness, education and care for those infected.
c) Young people are responsive, and wherever churches minister specifically to them, there is fruit denominations are increasingly introducing student ministry to their work. Liberty to teach Scripture in public schools is an exciting but under-used opportunity through lack of qualified personnel. SU makes a vital contribution in school evangelism and discipleship. The IFES Francophone Africa headquarters is in Abidjan, and there are strong GBU/IFES groups present. CCCI is also well established, with 30 full-time staff, reaching students in several cities.
For an additional 12 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 Côte d’Ivoire.