• Pray for continued freedom to spread the Gospel.
• Pray for unhampered and accurate translation work for many languages with no Bible.
• Pray for missionaries who will leave urban Gambia to travel upriver to unreached tribes.
Straddling the Gambia River, the Republic of The Gambia is the smallest country in mainland Africa. Inhabited by numerous ethnic groups and a part of various West African kingdoms before its colonization, Gambia was fused together with present-day Senegal to form Senegambia, the first British colony in Africa. Gambia became a self-governed nation in 1963 and gained full independence in 1965.
Gambia is considered a "melting pot" of West African ethnic groups who generally live in harmony with one another. Eighty percent of the population are subsistence farmers, many of whom are women. Gambian law supports gender equality, but it is a patrilineal society, mainly among the Muslims. Polygamy is also very prevalent. Major social issues within Gambian society include poverty, disease, and lack of economic development. There are no government programs in place for the poor or disabled, and they are usually forced to beg. Malaria, blindness, and other illnesses ail the population, and the nation is one of the poorest in the world.
Ninety percent of the Gambia population is Muslim, but there is some religious freedom and tolerance. Christians, mostly Protestant, make up 5% of the population. Ministries are needed to reach the non-Christian majority, but many Gambian believers are not motivated to evangelize to their Muslim countrymen. Gambians are known for being soft-spoken and tend to avoid conflict, so many of the Muslims are more tolerant of Gambian Christians, and persecution is lower than in most surrounding nations. Nominalism is affecting the church, and even though they have access to spiritual teaching, they are not fully receiving the message and growing in their faith. Discipleship and leadership training are needed in order to effectively reach those living in isolated areas and to motivate believers to witness to their fellow Gambians.
Capital City: Banjul
Government: Presidential republic
Major People Groups: 37% Mandinka (Sose); 13% Fulakunda; 12% Gambian Wolof; 7% Soninke (Sarakole); 7% Tukulor (Takarir)
Religion: Muslim 89%, Ethnic religions 5%, Christian 5%, Baha'is 1%, Agnostic 1%
Language: Mandingo, Fulah, Gambian Wolof, Serahule, Jola-Fonyi
GDP Per Capita: $2,200
Literacy Rate: 50.8%
POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 84.6%
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