|Republic of Equatorial Guinea|
Area 28,051 sq.km. A small enclave, Rio Muni, on the African mainland and several islands in the Gulf of Guinea, including Bioko (2,000 sq. km) and Pegalu (Annobon, 10 sq. km).
The former ruler caused the deaths of about 60,000 people and the flight or expulsion of a further 140,000 between 1969 and 1978.
Capital Malabo 63,000. Urbanites 29%.
Bantu 95.9%. Over 11 ethnic groups.
Mainland: Fang 375,000, politically dominant; Seke 11,000; Ngumba 9,000; Ngumbi 6,000; Batanga (Puku) 9,000; Benga 3,200.
Islands: Bubi 43,000.
Spanish-speaking 2.6%. Mixed race 11,000.
Creole 1.5%. Bioko 4,500; Pagalu 2,700.
Literacy 62%. Official languages Spanish and French. All languages 12. Languages with Scriptures 1Bi 1NT 3por 2w.i.p.
Prosperous until independence, but in total collapse by 1979. Exploitation of the forests and offshore oil have been more for the benefit of the ruling elite while the vast majority live in grinding poverty. Corruption is a serious problem. During the 1990s there were improvements in the economy as commerce revived. HDI 0.549; 131st/174. Public debt 102% of GNP. Income/person theoretically $530 (1.9% of USA).
Independence from Spain in 1968. A coup in 1969 brought Macias Nguema to power. This atheist dictator turned his country into a slave-labour camp with Soviet Bloc assistance. A military coup in 1979 resulted in a one-party presidential government economically linked with the neighbouring Francophone states. Western pressure for multi-party politics resulted in cosmetic changes. All dissent is suppressed and the government reacts defensively to any criticism.
In colonial times almost the entire population was baptized as Catholics. The savage persecution of the 1970s with the repression of religions has been followed by limited religious freedom.
1 The population was traumatized and the economy ravished by the bizarre dictatorship of the 1970s. The subsequent government led to some improvements, but the levels of corruption and injustice remained high and the government seeks to control all aspects of national life. Pray for change and a government that seeks the good of the people.
2 The persecuted Church did not emerge unscathed. Church leaders were forced to compromise or suffer. Tragically, many Protestant church leaders fell into sin and displayed more interest in power politics than in the spiritual nurture of their flocks. Pray for men of God, fearless for the truth, to be raised up to lead the churches back to a living relationship with God. Pray for both repentance and revival.
3 Since 1980 there has been increasing religious freedom and a number of newer Pentecostal, charismatic and evangelical denominations have started and grown. (AoG, Baptists, Deeper Life, etc.). Pray for purity of life and fervency in evangelism in the churches despite the prevailing poverty, corruption and despair. Pray also for full liberty for the gospel.
4 Facilities for training a new generation of leaders have increased in the 1990s. There were 3 institutions in operation in 1999 (Reformed, WEC, AoG) with 155 students. YWAM runs short-term Discipleship Training Schools. Pray that graduates may be used of the Spirit to bring spiritual life to the churches and the nation.
5 Missionaries have increased in numbers, but all need wisdom and humility in the convoluted political and untidy spiritual situation in the churches and in relating to indigenous leadership. The main agencies are: AoG (13), WEC (12) and YWAM (10).
7 The Bible Society finally gained registration in 1999 and distributes Scriptures. A NT in Bubi has just been completed. Pray for adequate distribution networks and free importation of Scriptures. The Fang NT is being translated by Pioneer Bible Translators pray for its completion.
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