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All articles in category Eastern Africa

World Mission – The Somali people
February 2011
Somalia

World Mission – The Somali people

The Somali people   There are probably between eight and nine million Somalis in Somalia and Somaliland, while many others live in the neighbouring countries of Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya.      Somali refugees are found in the Arabian Peninsula, the Gulf, Western Europe, North America and New Zealand. Some Somalis are semi-nomadic pastoralists, who take care of their camels, cattle, goats and sheep. Others are urbanised.      Ever since the beginning of this century, the Somali people have continuously extended their territory. Today, they are settled all around the Horn of Africa.      Somalis are Muslims who, along with their expansion, also spread Islam. About...

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World Mission – My faith in Jesus Christ the Messiah
February 2011
Somalia

World Mission – My faith in Jesus Christ the Messiah

My faith in Jesus Christ the Messiah   I was born to a very religious Somali family, in a small village in western Somalia. I am a Somali. I grew up in Mogadishu where I worked and finished high school. My father was a well-known religious leader and also a well-respected tribal leader. He memorised the entire Qur’an in Arabic, even though he could not speak Arabic very well. The Qur’an is roughly the size of the Christian New Testament.      My father trained Muslim religious teachers for the propagation of Islam. In his pursuit of spreading Islam he enjoyed the moral and material support...

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With Moravians in Tanzania
July 2010
Tanzania

With Moravians in Tanzania

With Moravians in Tanzania   Some time ago I met a student from Tanzania studying here in the UK. His name is Willey Mwasile. He is a member of the Moravian denomination. When he returned to Tanzania he was appointed principal of Utungule Bible College.      He invited me to spend a couple of weeks teaching theology in the Mbeya region (South-West Province of Tanzania). Tanzania has a population of about 45 million people. The number of Christians ranges from 50-70 per cent. There have been no official statistics for many years. The country is very poor with the average wage being between one to...

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March 2010
Eritrea

Eritrea’s persecuting government

Eritrea’s persecuting government     When Eritrea won its independence from Ethiopia in 1993, it was widely hoped that the nation would become an example of good governance for the whole of Africa. Sadly, Eritrea is now regarded as one of the worst persecutors of Christians in the world.   Eritrea is located in the Horn of Africa. Its area is roughly that of England and Wales, comprising a dry, temperate plateau and hot, desert lowland along the Red Sea coastline. After 60 years of colonial rule by Italy and then Britain, in 1951 Eritrea became part of a federation with Ethiopia.      Ten years...

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March 2010
Eritrea

Petitioning for freedom in Eritrea

Petitioning for freedom in Eritrea Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, the patron of Release International, recently presented a petition to the Eritrean Embassy and No.10 Downing Street calling for religious freedom for Eritrean Christians imprisoned and tortured for their faith.      Tens of thousands signed the petition, after a major campaign by Release which included publication of the book Song of the nightingale. This is a first-person account by gospel singer Helen Berhane, who was incarcerated in a shipping container and brutally beaten by the Eritrean authorities.      The petition was handed in by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, who resigned his post as Bishop of Rochester to speak...

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A faithful church
March 2010
Eritrea

A faithful church

A faithful church The Evangelical and Reformed communities in Eritrea are under much oppression and persecution, but continue to seek to be faithful to the Lord in their walk, witness and worship.      Most are Tigrinya-speaking, originating from nominal Christian backgrounds. These live in the highlands. A smaller group are Arabic-speaking and based in the predominantly Muslim areas along the coast.      The past five years have been difficult for the church in the capital, Asmara. Many members have been in prison, and those not in prison are doing some sort of forced labour. None get enough to eat. Eight members of the congregation have...

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Thousands of miles, to receive Jesus!
December 2009
Zimbabwe

Thousands of miles, to receive Jesus!

Thousands of miles, to receive Jesus!   I was born in Zimbabwe of devout Roman Catholic parents and attended Catholic schools. I was baptised and confirmed at an early age and started serving mass while at primary school.   Church attendance was compulsory during my primary and secondary school years. However, it was just a formality really. Immediately after completing ‘O’ levels, I joined the Zimbabwe Republic Police, who became my employers for the next 22 years. During this time I stopped thinking about God.      I was a young lad working for the first time in a newly independent country, in a job that...

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Agape Children’s Village, Uganda
September 2009
Uganda

Agape Children’s Village, Uganda

Agape Children’s Village, Uganda   Uganda has been hit hard by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and has the world’s highest concentration of AIDS orphans. With a population of 30.9 million, one in every eighteen Ugandans is an AIDS orphan. In 2002 there were 1.7 million AIDS orphans, out of a total of 2.4 million Ugandan orphans.   The orphan problem is coped with in different ways. There are child-headed homes where both parents have died and a child in its late teens acts as parent. Such teenagers, already traumatised through seeing their parents die, face onerous tasks like fetching water, growing food and tending sick siblings....

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