Burundi

3 04 2013

Situated south of its ‘twin’ Rwanda, it is a mountainous, fertile country on the northeast shore of Lake Tanganyika.

Burundi-Map

Capital: Bujumbura has 480,000 people, and is the major city, in this African nation.  Burundi has the second highest population density in Africa.

Life expectancy is 50.1 years and some 38% of the population are under 15 years of age.

Language: They are a Kirundi-speaking people (98%), with the split like this: Hutu 83.6% and Tutsi 13.6%, and the Twa Pygmies 1% are neglected by the other groups. Also some others, small percentages: Congolese, Lingala, Arab, French (an official language); also English usage is widespread.

Freedom of Religion.

Christian                         90.46%

Muslim                                5.5%

Ethnoreligionist               3.8 %

Baha’i                                  0.08%

Economy:   ‘Landlocked and overcoming decades of conflict’ (OM, p. 181), Burundi is in a lot of debt and as such, is heavily dependent on outside aid.

Exports: Tea and Coffee, Mineral Resources – largely unexplored. Soil erosion is a major problem, due to over-crowding. A very poor nation.

Recent History:  For 400 years the minority Tutsi’s had Lordship over the majority Hutu people. Independence from Belgium cam in 1962, and the Tutsi constitutional monarchy was replaced by a military Tutsi regime.  Burundi has had an appalling human rights record, but peaceful democratic elections in recent years (2005, 2010) have helped to establish better community relationships.

Prayer Points:

1. The socio-political situation is one of cautious hope, amid a fragile peace.  A violent eruption claimed 300,000 lives in the 1990’s.

2. The President is a former leader of a rebel Hutu group. He is a Christian man. Pray for him to give wise leadership.

3. There is a surplus of firearms – leading to crimes of armed robbery.

4. There is a lot of corruption. Pray for the gospel to bring lasting change in hearts and activities.

5. The Church had experienced great revival in the 1950’s, and is recognised as the crucial institution for reconciliation.

6. Leadership in the churches is in short supply. Pray for the Bible schools and Christian universities, and Modular training programmes.

7. The Twa Pygmies are socially marginalized, and their health and educational prospects are grim; but there are Christians among them. Pray for their future.

8. The Burundian Refugee population. “Over 12% of all Burundians were displaced by genocide, many for more than 5 years (Tanzania). For restoration.

9. Most Christians have no idea how to minister to the rapidly growing Islamic population. Pray for new outreach to Muslim peoples.

10. Children. Over half a million children have lost at least one parent. Malaria and AIDS are also problematic. Violence is common. School is needed for all. Pray for ministries to children by the NGO’s and other groups to be established and growing.

11. There is a genuine need for expatriate Christian workers to return, after all were expelled from the nation.

12. Christian media. There is a great shortfall of bibles and Christian literature. Illiteracy is 58% among adults.

Dear Lord Jesus, Risen from the grave, please draw people to yourself in Burundi, and give the Churches fresh leadership and renewed vision for the deep work of reconciliation. May this take place not merely politically, but in the heart of this people. We pray for reconciliation in the Cross of Christ, to be understood to be unto their One Heavenly Father, One Lord, One Spirit, One Faith, One Hope, One Future –  and may they all be baptised into a new unity in sharing life and building up the nation. Help them Lord to tap into their mineral wealth, and not to be exploited. We pray for forgiveness to be known between Hutu and Tutsi people, and love to grow for the Twa Pygmies. 

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