Equatorial Guinea faces an unusual political and economic situation. Large oil reserves made a small minority very rich. Western oil companies work with a regime whose human rights record is poor, in order to increase profits. Corruption means that most of the people do not benefit from such wealth. Pray for economic justice and wise stewardship. The oil boom brings in foreigners, both Christian and Muslim. Pray that expat believers might engage with the spiritual and physical needs of the nation. Pray that foreign companies might do business in ways that benefit the local people. The oil money will end soon, and what will be left to show for it?
The vast majority are Roman Catholic, the highest percentage of any African nation. But beneath the surface of the imposed colonial religion lies the reality that animistic beliefs and practices were never abandoned. Pray that the 85% who claim Christianity - without having been born again - might hear and respond to the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
An encouraging increase in religious freedom has occurred alongside a number of newer, growing Pentecostal, charismatic and evangelical denominations (AoG, Deeper Life, several indigenous denominations). Pray for purity of life and fervency of evangelism in the churches despite the prevailing poverty, corruption and despair. The government has actually been quite positive about the potential role of the Church and missions in developing society, a much-needed foil to the oil-oriented multinational corporations.
Training leaders and discipling believers are strategic and growing ministries. Three training institutions exist (Reformed, WEC, AoG) along with TEE programmes. YWAM runs short-term Discipleship Training Schools. Pray that graduates may be used of the Spirit to evangelize the nation and disciple believers. Pray for greater opportunities for laity to grow in their faith; the move from a nominal Catholic/animist worldview to a biblical one is a significant transition.
Missionaries have increased in number, including growing numbers from West and Central Africa, but they need wisdom in the convoluted socio-political situation. Several delicate and difficult situations in relating to indigenous leadership have occurred in recent years. Pray for grace and humility on the part of both expats and nationals. The main agencies are: EqGuiMsn, YWAM, AoG, WEC.
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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.