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All articles in category Africa

June 2010
Democratic Republic of Congo

Survival in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Survival in the Democratic Republic of Congo   Over many years, Western media have paid little attention to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), but few can be totally unaware of the conflict that has troubled that country with such catastrophic effect since 1996.      The numbers who have died are counted in millions; the economy, which was precarious before the conflict, has largely collapsed; and the country’s institutional structures are seriously undermined.      Officially, peace has now come and the armed forces of neighbours like Rwanda and Uganda withdrawn. However, ethnic conflict in the Kivu provinces of the Great Lakes region in the east...

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Morocco expels foreign Christians
May 2010
Morocco

Morocco expels foreign Christians

Morocco expels foreign Christians   He was on his way to visit a Moroccan believer when two men approached him in the street. After seeing their identification, Tom (not his real name) agreed to go with the plain clothes policemen.      Tom managed to text his wife en-route to a Moroccan police station where he answered questions and was detained for six hours. The next day Tom was escorted to the airport and deported, leaving behind 15 years of life, language study and a deep connection with the emerging Moroccan church.      Expulsions   Since 6 March 2010, 40 foreigners of eight nationalities have been...

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Testing times in Algeria
April 2010
Algeria

Testing times in Algeria

Testing times in Algeria   A growing church in Kabylia, north-west Algeria, was to begin meeting in their new premises on 26 December 2009. But when the believers arrived at the Tizi Ouzou church, they found around 50 Muslim protesters barring the doors.   This growing church in Tizi Ouzou built their premises to accommodate 350 people. They had disregarded a letter from the authorities saying the church was illegal, as they had received such letters before. They chose to continue because they are a member of the Eglise Protestante d’Algerie (EPA), which (according to Middle East Concern) is registered with the authorities.             Church leaders contacted the...

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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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Missionary Spotlight – Snakes (and ants) alive!
October 2009
Guinea

Missionary Spotlight – Snakes (and ants) alive!

Snakes (and ants) alive!   Let me tell you a couple of things from Guinea to remind you to pray for the safety of missionaries.      In the cool of a January morning our missionary colleague went outside to turn on their generator. When he opened the door to the generator house, he was greeted by a three foot long, spitting cobra, already poised in the hooded position.      He quickly backed out of the shed and closed the door, knowing that if the snake spat into his eyes he could be blinded, and if it struck him the venom would be deadly.      Thankfully,...

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Missionary Spotlight – New Tribes Mission in Guinea, West Africa
October 2009
Guinea

Missionary Spotlight – New Tribes Mission in Guinea, West Africa

New Tribes Mission in Guinea, West Africa   The country of Guinea is home to about 40 people groups, most of which are classed as least-reached or unreached with the gospel. It is just the sort of place one would expect to find a mission like New Tribes Mission (NTM), since our mandate is to assist the church in reaching people groups who have no effective gospel witness.   For many years the Guinean government would not allow missionaries to work in Guinea. That changed in the mid 1980s, and by the end of the decade a few NTM missionaries had arrived to begin preparing...

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Missionary Spotlight – Guinea turned 50
October 2009
Guinea

Missionary Spotlight – Guinea turned 50

Guinea turned 50   The year 2008 marked the 50th anniversary of Guinea’s independence from France. In honour of the occasion, a colleague wrote the following words: ‘We prefer liberty in poverty to slavery in riches’.      For this ideal the Republic of Guinea fought and gained independence from French colonial rule. But during the next five decades, true liberty has proved elusive, as political, socioeconomic and spiritual poverty has gnawed at the fabric of individual and national life.      Impoverished   From independence in 1958, Ahmed Sékou Touré, President of Guinea, unleashed a murderous communist dictatorship that lasted for 26 years and left the...

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October 2009
Ghana

Missionary Spotlight – Church history

Church history   Protestant missions to Guinea began in 1918 when the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) entered the country. Other missions entered in the ensuing years but were expelled without exception in 1967 by the Marxist government.      Only eight CMA personnel were allowed to remain, and their activities were restricted. As a child, President Sekou Touré had positive contact with the CMA, which no doubt influenced his government’s decision to allow some of the mission to remain.      Mission Philafricaine, a medical centre for treatment of TB, leprosy and other diseases, was the only other ministry allowed to enter Guinea until the change...

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October 2009
Guinea

Missionary Spotlight – Republic of Guinea Fact File

Republic of Guinea fact file   The population is just over 10 million.   The highest point in the country is Mont Nimba (5,748 feet).   Guinea is ranked 13th from the bottom among the poorest countries in the world.   Guinea possesses over 25 billion metric tons of bauxite (nearly half the world’s reserves), over 4 billion tons of high-grade iron ore, significant diamond and gold deposits, and large quantities of uranium.   There are 41 tribal groups.   The official language is French. Other languages include Pular, Maninka, Susu, Insula, Kissi, Kpelle and Loma.   The Malinke and Puehl in the north comprise 70...

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