Area: 1,218,363 sq km
A republic with nine provinces at the southernmost point of Africa. Relatively well watered in the east; arid with increasing desertification toward the west coast.
Population: 50,492,408 Annual Growth: 0.99%
Capital: Cape Town (legislative). Pretoria (administrative). Bloemfontein (judicial)
Official language: – all the major ethnic languages. English and Afrikaans are the main languages in higher education Languages: 11 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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Prayer initiatives started in South Africa have gone on to impact the entire world. The Global Day of Prayer started in Cape Town and is now observed in every country in the world by hundreds of millions of Christians. Groups such as Transformation Africa and Jericho Walls also have profound spiritual influences far beyond South Africa. The Mighty Men weekend conferences impacted the hundreds of thousands who attended with a muscular and uncompromised gospel message.
The legacy of apartheid continues to impact the nation. Despite progress in some areas, inequalities and injustices of the past continue to shape the future. Pray especially for:
a) Reconciliation among all races. This applies not just to black-white dynamics, but also to coloured and Indian peoples as well as to relationships among various black ethnicities. The rainbow nation must still deal with contempt, mistrust and deep-seated hurts and fears among peoples of this diverse but troubled land. Pray that the Church might lead the way by living out the truth of oneness in Christ Jesus.
b) Poverty and economic inequality. Land redistribution and affirmative action in employment are contentious intiatives that seek to assist the previously disadvantaged, but they come at a cost to the efficient running of the economy. Extremes of wealth and poverty persist. The black majority itself includes a wealthy elite and a poor majority, but the middle class is growing. Pray for economic measures that might uplift those most needing assistance without crippling the effective running of the economy.
c) Rape and violent crime rates are alarmingly high. The proliferation of illegal firearms, poverty, desperation and lack of justice fuels hopelessness and anarchy. Pray for those working for justice and for peoples safety especially pray for the beleaguered police force. Pray for Christian ministries working with children at risk, jobless young people, prisoners and the police force. Pray that the spirit of violence both physical and sexual might be bound under the authority of Christ.
For an additional 10 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 South Africa.