Djibouti enjoys peace, but suffers under serious social and economic problems. Western military presence helps create an atmosphere of calm and safety. Pray that the Islamist voice that seeks to make Djibouti conform to its own values will not destroy current freedoms. Serious national problems include widespread famine, extreme unemployment, human trafficking, prostitution, and drug abuse.
Serious social and economic problems continue to plague Djiboutians, notably widespread famine, extreme unemployment and the rising urban issues of human trafficking, prostitution and drug abuse. The French Protestant, Roman Catholic and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches represent the only active Christian witness recognized by the government. They sponsor various social projects, including work among refugees and the poor. Seventh-day Adventists run both an eye clinic and a dental-care clinic. Pray for effective cooperation and unity among Christians. Pray for fruitful ministry amid abject poverty and human suffering.
Mission work is a challenge in this hot, dry, but often humid land, and working conditions are extreme. Physical and spiritual oppression, economic disparity, ethnic tensions and a paucity of believers lead easily to discouragement and worker attrition. Pray for the present ministries in education, public health, literature, Bible translation, literacy and youth work - opportunities to witness abound in these. Pray that contacts lead to disciples for Jesus. Pray for God to send long-term workers, especially from nearby countries and people groups. Pray for unprecedented spiritual breakthroughs, long-awaited but as yet unseen. There is notable interest in Christianity from a small but increasing number of locals.
The few Somali and Afar believers are often isolated and suffer many pressures from relatives. Their families may ostracize, beat or even kill them for deserting Islam. Pray that they might stand firm in their commitment to follow Jesus. There are many disruptive forces such as tribalism and jealousy that create division among the believers and make them reluctant to meet together. Pray for a new bond of unity. Many of the believers are jobless, and some are illiterate - pray for effective use of literacy and vocational training programmes. Small groups of local believers are gathering for fellowship. Pray for effective use of the Scriptures in these meetings and for the Holy Spirit to work in each life. Pray that God will raise up strong Christian leaders from among and for the Somali and Afar believers.
Pray for the peoples of Djibouti:
- The Afars' main territories are in Ethiopia and Eritrea, where there is little witness at present. In Djibouti, the primarily nomadic Afar are increasingly urbanized due to economic pressures. There is no known church among them.
- The Somalis are a small branch of the larger populations in Somalia and Ethiopia. The Somalis in Djibouti are a key for the evangelization of their kinsmen across the border.
- Arabs, both local and Yemeni, need a specific approach directed to their spiritual needs. There is no work among them, despite possibly being more accessible here than in Yemen.
- The ethnic minorities. As a strategic port city, Djibouti attracts foreigners from many lands. Most of these - French, Greek, Pakistani, Senegalese, Indian and others - have little exposure to vibrant Christian witness.
Bible translation and distribution. The Afar NT is published, as are parts of the nearly completed OT. There is a key project to record both Afar Scripture songs and the entire NT on tape - a vital means of communicating God's Word in a largely illiterate population. Praise God for the recent printing of a newly revised Somali Bible.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.