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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

Growth in the mainline Churches has been good but sporadic. Renewal movements in Lutheran, Anglican and Catholic churches bring life to traditional congregations; most of the bishops are evangelical. Some problems that limit further growth in numbers and spirituality are:

a) Extensive areas where churches have stagnated and where many potentially open villages remain unreached. The need is great for more evangelists and church planters.

b) African worship patterns, choirs and collections combined with Western cultural forms have taken priority over biblical teaching.

c) Swahili is used in fully 96% of church services even though it is not the heart language of the majority. Pray for the development of songs, teaching and resources in the first languages of all Tanzania’s peoples.

d) AIDS continues to spread and affect many. It has now afflicted over 1.7 million (8.8% of the population) and orphaned over one million children. Tanzania’s social fabric and economic structure are deeply affected. There are several initiatives led by religious and church communities for prevention, counselling and care. Pray for these programmes to be followed through and to have a powerful positive impact.

The Pentecostal movement has flourished in the last 20 years and is the fastest growing segment of Christianity. Although the origins of many of these groups are foreign, good use of outreach tools combined with spiritual fervency have seen Pentecostalism grow and take root in Tanzanian culture. Pray for continued growth, increased maturity and unity between Pentecostals and other evangelicals – essential if the church is to impact Muslims and animists in the nation.

     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.