• Pray for continued freedom to proclaim the Gospel.
• Pray for the ancestor worshiping Christians to come to knowledge of the sovereign Lord.
• Pray for full financial support for Christian missionaries and organizations working in country.
Located 140 kilometers (87 miles) away from one another in the Gulf of Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe comprises Africa's smallest state. These two islands were first inhabited by Portuguese settlers in 1486, who then brought Africans from the mainland as slaves. The majority of the early inhabitants were Jews taken from their parents to be converted to Christianity and degredados (convicts and prostitutes) who married the slaves. The islands became a prosperous slave and spice trade center and an early producer of sugar. This Portuguese speaking nation became independent in 1975 and has been a multiparty democracy since 1991. The two islands are different provinces, and Principe has had its own self-government since 1995.
Sao Tome and Principe is an isolated and underdeveloped nation due to poor communication and infrastructure. Once Africa's largest exporter of sugar and the world's largest producer of cacao, the economy is greatly affected by market fluctuations and inflation. As a result of drought and the dwindling number of skilled farmers, agriculture is declining. Over half of the population lives below the poverty line, and there are no major industries to provide income to both the people and the economy. Oil, tourism, and fisheries are growing sectors, but they are far from being fully established. Women can own and run their own business, and they uniquely serve the economy as fish traders.
Eighty-seven percent of the population is Christian. The largest segment is Catholicism, but syncretism, especially ancestor worship, is very prevalent in the Church. Appeasing the spirits have become more important than following Christ. The believers on the islands need to turn away from spiritism and set their eyes completely on Christ. Sao Tome and Principe is ranked 13th among nations with the fastest evangelical growth and grows 6.5 percent annually. The Principe islanders, the Angolares (rural fisherfolk), and the servicais (contract workers) are a part of the less-reached peoples. There is a great need for the Evangelicals and missionaries to reach out to these groups with the love of Christ.
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. - John 14:14
Source: West Africa - São Tomé Choir; Kay Ellen Gilmour
Capital City: Sao Tome
Major People Groups: Mesticos/Forros 76%, Other 24%
Religion: Catholic 73.2%, Ethnic 7.4%, Other Christian 14.4%, Other 5%
GDP Per Capita: $2,000
Literacy Rate: 84.9%