Area: 390,759 sq km
Landlocked state in southern Africa.
Population: 12,644,041 Annual Growth: 0.27%
Official language: English. Trade languages Shona spoken widely, Ndebele in the West Languages: 22 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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The calamitous land redistribution changed Zimbabwe from being a food exporter to being food-import dependent. Before independence, white settlers built agricultural output, employing and housing up to two million people. The Mugabe-endorsed seizure of 5,500 white-owned farms allowed over 100,000 war veterans to settle over 10 million hectares. This process descended into anarchy and wrought devastation as squatters now camp on once fertile farmland. Not only does the nation rely on international aid to feed itself, but over two-thirds of the wildlife has been killed since 2000, mostly for food. Land reform is needed; pray that it might be equitable, wise and beneficial to the countrys longer term future. Pray for the rule of law and for justice to prevail for all involved.
The AIDS pandemic in Zimbabwe is one of the worlds worst cases. A combination of inadequate government action, lack of healthcare, traditional (and modern) practices that exacerbate spread and the failure to address the stigma result in great suffering. Thankfully, prevalence rates have apparently declined to around 14%, but over 2,000 are still dying per week and there are around one million AIDS orphans. Pray for:
a) A radical change in hearts and attitudes to sex and to AIDS itself. Figures indicate this is beginning as NGOs and churches lead the way in education and awareness. With the collapse of medical services, current prevalence rates are difficult if not impossible to assess.
b) Effective and specific programmes to address the issue. Pray that all churches might face up to the moral, spiritual and economic implications of the pandemic for their ministry, and that pastors would lead the way in endorsing helpful initiatives, holy and transparent lifestyles and loving compassion for those afflicted.
For an additional 8 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 Zimbabwe.