Area: 71,740 sq km
Small coastal state between Guinea and Liberia.
Population: 5,835,664 Annual Growth: 2.70%
Official language: English. Trade language Krio (Creole), spoken by 10% of the population as first language and 90% as second Languages: 26 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
Sierra Leone was the first West African country to be evangelized. The first Protestant Church started in Freetown, among freed slaves, in 1785. Yet after over 200 years of effort, only 13% of the country claim to be Christian. Very few historic denominations have grown significantly in the last 40 years or made a lasting impact on the country. The newer, more dynamic groups tend to be spiritually shallow and overly focused on prosperity teaching and miracles. Pray for churches that balance the Word and the Spirit, for hearts of unity and prayer and for a deep desire to reach out in loving witness to the non-Christian majority.
Effective Christian ministry is crucial for a Church and a nation with many pressing needs. Rebuilding and restoring people, congregations, buildings and organizations will require great commitment, wisdom and generosity. Pray for:
a) The Evangelical Fellowship of Sierra Leone, a focal point for cooperation, vision and ministry for many agencies and denominations. Its goals are to unite, mobilize and strengthen the Church, to be a public voice for evangelicals and to provide humanitarian services for those in need.
b) Few churches are equipped to minister to present humanitarian needs. Pray for the Holy Spirit to gift and empower many to minister in this area and to enable victims to become effective disciples. Pray also for humanitarian aid agencies that seek to alleviate suffering (WVI, Tearfund, World Relief and many others). Pray for effective partnerships among local churches and the many Christian NGOs doing excellent work in the country.
c) Ministering to casualties of war. Churches must be places of compassion, forgiveness and healing for the many who endured or committed atrocities. These include many orphans, those forced to become child soldiers or slaves of rebels, victims of amputation, mutilation or rape, those suffering mental trauma from their experiences and those who perpetrated such acts. Such ministry is very demanding and draining but also rewarding and essential. Pray for NGOs involved in this work; pray also for churches to gain vision and training for such ministry.
For an additional 9 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 Sierra Leone.