• Pray for wisdom for Christian workers in Arab-focused ministries.
• Pray for the nomadic Afar, who are essentially unreached with the Gospel.
• Pray for encouragement and perseverance for those ministering in extremely difficult conditions.
With mountains bursting through the center of its desert landscape, the East African nation of the Republic of Djibouti lies between Eritrea and Somalia, bordering the Gulf of Aden. France gained control of Djibouti in the 19th century through treaties with the Somali sultans, and it was called the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas. Djibouti gained independence in 1977 and functioned as an authoritarian one-party state until the president stepped aside in 1999 and balanced the nation’s two main ethnic groups, the Issa of Somali origin and the Afar of Ethiopian origin.
Djibouti is a free trade zone whose dry climate prevents successful crop production, and most of the nation’s food must be imported. The economy is based on service commodities, and the strategic geographical location along the Red Sea serves as a transshipment location for the export and import of goods along East Africa. The bordering nation of Ethiopia represents up to 70% of the shipping activity. Resulting from Djibouti’s lack of resources, the urban unemployment rate soars to nearly 60%, and roughly two-thirds of the nation lives in the capital city. The remainder of the population mainly work as nomadic herders. Over 40% of Djiboutians live in poverty.
Situated between four restricted nations – those where Christians are persecuted or oppressed as a result of government policy – Djibouti has served as a predominantly Muslim nation since its introduction in the 7th century. Ninety-seven percent of the population is Muslim, and those who leave the faith are often beaten, ostracized, and killed. Even showing curiosity in other religions can be dangerous for Muslims, however, there is religious freedom for foreigners within Djibouti. Somalis are known for sharing their faith with their friends and family across the nation’s border, although, there is no known Church among the Afars. Many divisions have occurred within the Church as a result of tribalism and jealousy. Unity and boldness are needed among the brave Christians living in Djibouti.
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. - John 14:14
Capital City: Djibouti
Government: Presidential republic
Major People Groups: 47% Somali (Issa); 36% Danakil (Afar); 11% Arab; 3% Eurafrican; 1% French
Religion: Muslim 97%, Agnostic 1%, Christian 1%
Language: Somali, Afar, Arabic, French
GDP Per Capita: $5,500
Literacy Rate: 67%
POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 97.2%