Area: 36,125 sq km
Coastal state wedged between Senegal and Guinea, including the Bijagos archipelago.
Population: 1,647,380 Annual Growth: 2.27%
Official language: Portuguese. National language Portuguese Creole, spoken by as much as half the population Languages: 25 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
The less-reached groups for whom prayer is needed:
a) The Muslim Fula/Fulbe and Mandinka. Both are large, dominant groups in many West African countries with a rich history and much influence. They are largely responsible for bringing Islam to Guinea-Bissau; may they instead become responsible for spreading the good news. The Fula are increasingly responsive to the gospel, and in a few locations, groups of believers are forming. The Mandinkas are more resistant but have some individual believers in the cities.
b) Smaller-population peoples of mixed Muslim and animist beliefs. The Biafada, Nalu, Masoanke, Jahanka, Jola-Fonyi, Soninke, Susu and Badyara have had very little, if any, work concentrated on them using their language and culture. Pray for ministry among them, and that fruit might be forthcoming.
c) Traditional-religion peoples are much more evangelized than the Muslim peoples. Praise God that there are Christians from almost all of these groups. These include the Balanta, Papel, Bijago, Manjaco, Mancanha, Jola-Felupe and Bayote. Pray also for the gospel to reach the other smaller, and often overlooked, peoples.
Scripture and literature are areas of great need and great potential. Poverty and low literacy make this a challenge, but the spiritual need and pressure from other faiths make this ministry essential.
a) Bible translation. The Bible in Creole is a great success. Almost all churches use it, and it is already on a fourth printing. NTs are available in Papel, Bijago, Fula and Mandinka and soon in Balanta, though not used nearly as much. SIL/ALEM, The Bible Society, The Seed Company, KIMON and the national Church all partner for further translation and literacy work as well as training.
b) Christian books have low circulation, few readers and high costs, and there are only two Christian bookshops in the country. Pray for the development of helpful written material to equip the saints. Pray for the Church to gain a vision for Christian literature.
c) Literacy must be enhanced to maximize the benefits of new material being printed. Pray for the educational infrastructure including many primary schools for locals set up and run by the national Church and mission agencies and for literacy courses for adults to have a great effect that generates a hunger for reading material and in turn leads people to Scripture. Greater coordination is needed for the local education provided by Protestant churches, which is currently a fragmented scene, including how these many groups are represented before the governments Ministry of Education.
For an additional 4 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 Guinea-Bissau.