Chad, Central Africa
Political Leader: President Lt. Gen. Idriss Déby Itno
Religions: Islam 55%, Christianity 27.8%, Traditional 16%, Other 1.2%
Persecution Ranking: Not Ranked
Number of Terrorist Groups: 3
Acts of Terrorism: 12; Casualties: 180
Percent of Corruption: 80%
% of People in Poverty: 80%
Chad, officially the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west. Due to its distance from the sea and its largely desert climate, the country is sometimes referred to as the “Dead Heart of Africa.” Chad is divided into three major geographical regions: a desert zone in the north, an arid Sahelian belt in the centre and a more fertile Sudanese savanna zone in the south.
Terrorism in Chad has been used by rebel groups a means of opposing the successive dictatorships since Chadian independence in 1960. Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno has said that his ongoing battle against rebels and Janjaweed militiamen based in Sudan is a war against Islamic extremists. In August 2004, United States troops were in Chad training some of the country’s elite forces in how to fight Al Qaeda or any of its allies in the region.
Chad is home to over 200 different ethnic and linguistic groups. French and Arabic are the official languages. Islam is the most widely practiced religion. Christians make up 27.8% of Chad’s population.
Challenges for Christians:
Many Chadian Muslims have been recruited as mercenaries to attack and kill Christians in Nigeria. The country is almost equally divided between Muslim northerners, who are politically more powerful, and increasingly more marginalized Christian/ethnic religion southerners.
- Pray for the government of Chad to continue to combat terrorism. Pray that the country won’t become a breeding ground for terrorism.
- Pray for God to thwart any work of Al Qaeda and Janjaweed militiamen in Chad.
- With 200 people groups and 120 languages, Chad is one of the most unreached countries in Africa and presents a challenge to the Gospel. Pray for laborers to be sent to this harvest field (Matthew 9:37-38).
- Chad is one of 10 poorest countries in the world. It lies in the heart of the African continent and suffers from low rainfall and severe droughts. Pray for Christian humanitarian groups to come and minister in Chad.
- Thank God that the 2006 elections were peaceful.
- People from a Muslim background are starting to respond to the Gospel. Pray for Jesus to reveal Himself to more and more Muslims.
- Pray for continued peace and freedom in all ethnic and religious communities.
- Islam is growing in influence and numbers in Chad. More and more Muslim nations are sending missionaries to Chad and more mosques are being built. Pray that Christians might be equipped to witness to this community.
- Pray that the churches in Chad would grow and mature in their faith and discipleship. Many congregations mix Christianity up with other ideas and beliefs and can be legalistic. Pray that the Holy Spirit would be working to bring true freedom in their lives.
- There are more unreached peoples in Chad than anywhere else in Africa. Pray for ongoing support and protection for missionaries already working here. Pray also that God would call many to dedicate years to learning the languages and building the Kingdom in Chad.
Sources: 24-7 Prayer, Operation World, Wikipedia, Country Reports on Terrorism 2006, International Religious Freedom Report 2007, Open Doors, BBC, The World Factbook