• Pray for softened hearts, reconciliation, and spiritual awakening among the Tutsi and Hutu peoples.
• Pray for sustained Christian leadership in the midst of fragile peace.
• Pray for more Christian workers in the rural areas where refugees are returning after years of political horror.
With their powerful synchronized drumming, athletic dancing, and heroic poetry, the “Royal Drummers” epitomize Burundi’s diverse cultural heritage. For a nation torn apart by ethnic strife, the drummers are one of the sole examples of unity and national pride. Since Burundi’s independence in 1962, the Tutsi minority and the Hutu majority have fought for ethnic dominance. Their animosity led to war from 1993-2005, resulting in more than 250,000 deaths and displacing 800,000 people. Over 500,000 children were left with only one parent, and only half of them attend any type of school. Refugees are now returning, but they often lack basic services, are denied claims to their former land, and will spend years in tent-cities.
As a result of the civil war, Burundi has one of the lowest gross national products in the world. Ninety percent of its people rely on subsistence agriculture. But with the subdivision of land, the demands of returning refugees, and soil erosion, their yields grow smaller every year. The coffee industry is volatile, and new development is slow because of political instability and widespread corruption. Due to the lack of opportunities, Burundi suffers high levels of forced labor and sex trafficking. Though officially a democratic republic, it has spiraled into ever worsening violence as politicians vie to maintain power, suppress media outlets, and ward off coup threats.
Ninety percent of Burundians identify themselves as Christian, but syncretism and false teachings have subverted the truth of the Gospel. Realizing that shallow Christianity cannot meet the challenges of life, Burundians have been purging their churches of false practices and have seen sustained evangelical growth. But ethnic strife has forced most Bible schools to close and has left the nation with few trained leaders and pastors. Burundians need to find lasting peace and reconciliation, re-assimilate refugee populations, and meet the physical and psychological needs of its children.
Source: mbegubuntu by Apollinaire habyarimana: rwandamusic7
Capital City: Bujumbura
Major People Groups: 82% Hutu, 14% Tutsi, 2% Twa
Religion: 90% Christian, 6% Trad. Ethnic, 3% Muslim
GDP Per Capita: $700
Literacy Rate: 59.3%