• Pray for believers working in HIV/AIDS related ministry to spread hope through Christ.
• Pray for the mighty hand of God to banish animistic traditions in the church.
• Pray for more Christian workers with adequate resources for ministering to IV drug users.
Known as “The Kingdom in the Sky”, Lesotho’s mountainous terrain makes it the only nation in the world to be more than 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) above sea level. Lesotho is also known as “The Hostage State” for its dependence on the Republic of South Africa, which completely surrounds the small nation. Originally inhabited by Bushmen and survivors from 19th century tribal wars, the nation became a British protectorate in 1865 called Basutoland. After its 1966 independence, the nation adopted a constitutional monarchy and the name Lesotho.
Lesotho has a free-market economy and depends on South Africa for trade. Because of poor soil quality, drought, and rapid erosion, barely ten percent of the land is arable, a condition that has mired the nation in poverty. Forty-nine percent of the population live below the poverty line, and unemployment is high (45%). The HIV/AIDS infection rate of nearly 24% is among the world’s highest. Wealth in the small nation is measured not in currency but in cattle. Many cultural rites are centered around the sacrifice of a cow, and villages are typically built around a cattle pen.
Christianity is the largest form of religion in Lesotho with 89% of the population claiming to be Christian. Islam and African ancestor worship are also practiced. Catholicism is the largest Christian segment, and society does not accept the idea of being bapolosoa, or born again. People are commonly pressured by family members and friends against accepting the Gospel. The church also struggles with syncretization, and some churches incorporate balimo (ancestor worship) and other African traditional religious practices into their services. Christian leaders are in need of solid, Bible-based theological training and great discernment to root out traditional beliefs from those seeking to follow Jesus. Additional Christian literature is also needed in the Sesotho language.
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. - John 14:14
Source: Rebecca Malope-Jesu Ke Matla: Tumelo Keys
Capital City: Maseru
Government: Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
Major People Groups: Sotho 99.7%, Europeans, Asians, and other 0.3%
Religion: Christian 80%, Indigenous beliefs 20%
Language: Sesotho, English, Zulu, Xhosa
GDP Per Capita: $3,900
Literacy Rate: 79.4%