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Republic of Tanzania


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Area: 945,037 sq km

Comprising mainland Tanganyika and the offshore islands of Zanzibar and Pemba (2,460 sq km).

Population: 45,039,573    Annual Growth: 2.92%

Capital: Dodoma (official); Dar es Salaam (de facto)

Urbanites: 26.4%

HDI Rank: 151 of 182 (UN Human Development Reports 2009)


Peoples: 160 (21% unreached) All peoples
Unreached Peoples Prayer Card

Official language: Swahili, English; 2% speak only Swahili and no local African language    Languages: 127 All languages


Largest Religion: Christian

Religion               Pop %Ann Gr


Challenges for Prayer

Missionaries continue to play a strategically vital role, even as they are increasingly replaced by capable national workers. They serve in a wide range of ministries in outreach, church support, training and specialist ministries. Major mission agencies are IMB, YWAM, AIM, Missionshaus Bibelschule, Swedish Pentecostal Church, Danish Lutheran Church.

Christian support ministries:

a) Bible translation is an urgent need finally being addressed. Widespread use of Swahili masked the need for further translations. Still, 51 languages have no Scripture at all and a further 32 have only portions. Several agencies focus on translation: The Bible Society, Pioneer Bible Translators and Word for the World among them. Pray for more translation teams, including Tanzanians and foreigners, for projects to be finished quickly and well, and for the necessary literacy programmes to accompany the translations.

b) Christian literature is vital for an increasingly literate nation, yet poverty and supply difficulties hamper printing and distribution on the necessary scale. Pray for more Tanzanians with the gifts and calling to write appropriate Christian articles and books. Pray also for the Central Tanganyika Press (Anglican), Inland Press (AIC), Kanisa la Biblia Publishers (Bible commentaries and theological books), the extensive publishing and printing ministry of the Pentecostal Churches Association and for effective distribution of their products. SU, The Bible Society, AIC and CLC have thriving Christian bookstores. The Gideons are active in placing NTs in schools.

c) Missionary aviation is still an essential service to churches, missions and humanitarian agencies because of the lack of good roads and the size of the country. MAF’s biggest operation is in Tanzania – 8 aircraft, 3 bases with 77 staff. They transport Christian workers and maintain medical programmes and fruitful outreach to the Maasai, Iraqw and Barabaig. Evangelism and showing the JESUS film at airstrips is one evangelistic spin-off! AIM operates a floatplane on Lake Victoria to facilitate a much-needed community health/evangelism programme.

d) Christian radio is widespread. Lutherans, Pentecostals/IBRA and TWR have recording studios. IBRA (four FM stations) has a daily audience of millions in Swahili, with a significant response. TWR broadcasts from Swaziland and Tanzania in English, Swahili, Makhuwa and Yao. FEBA and Adventist Radio also broadcast in a few languages. SIL has started programmes in some regions using Swahili and local languages. Pray for lasting fruit in lives to result. Christian TV is also increasing, including global satellite content and local Christian programmes.

e) The JESUS film is widely used in 18 languages. The film is extensively used in evangelism among the unreached with great response.

f) GRN has recordings in 88 languages and dialects. Cassettes are widely used for evangelism, Scripture reading and teaching. Lack of non-Swahili literature and significant illiteracy make these audio resources all the more important.

     For an additional 9 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.

More Information

The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Tanzania.