• Pray for those bound by ancestor worship and the occult to find freedom in Jesus Christ.
• Pray for healthy marriages and sexual purity to loosen the grip of HIV/AIDS over the nation.
• Pray for the purification of the Church from all cultural sins.
Swaziland is one of Africa’s smallest nations and one of the world’s last absolute monarchies. It is a landlocked country completely surrounded by South Africa. This nation is filled with natural beauty shown through its people, diverse landscapes, and cultural traditions. Despite western influences, Swaziland’s culture has remained intact. The Swazi people often wear colorful traditional clothing — men with battle axes and women with beehive hairstyles. The distinct shape of a person’s hut reveals their tribal identity. The two main languages are English and siSwati, and most of the population live in rural areas as subsistence farmers.
Swaziland gained its independence from Britain in 1968 under Sobhuza who reigned from 1921 to 1982. Mswati became king four years later, and continues to rule today. The HIV/AIDS infection rate in Swaziland is one of the highest in the world, inflicting 26% of those ages 15 to 49. Roughly 100,000 children have been orphaned as a result. Children often live together, with the older ones caring for the younger, and about one in ten are malnourished. Swaziland also has the world’s highest number of Tuberculosis cases, and 80% of those treated are also infected with HIV/AIDS. Because of these health crises, life expectancy for males is only 52 and females is 51. Drought, overgrazing, and soil depletion combine to trap much of this nation in poverty (63%); roughly 40% are unemployed.
Swaziland’s population is roughly 90% Christian, 2% Muslim, and 8% other religions that include Baha’i, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, and indigenous religions. Christianity is taught to children through the education system, which provides great opportunities for teachers and pupils to reach out in love to nonbelievers. Although it is the primary religion, a large portion of those who claim to follow Christ are being led astray by false teachings such as Zionism, which combines ancestor worship with Christian beliefs. Lack of Biblical understanding and nominalism have opened the door for sins such as sexual impurity to take root even in the Church, contributing to the widespread devastation of HIV/AIDS. Even so, there is a strong evangelical community (25%), and many desire to work together to reach Swaziland with the Gospel. The suffering of this nation presents an opportunity for the Church to tangibly demonstrate the love of Christ by meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of its people.
Source: Swazi Culture Center (singing gospel): kbkcogic
Capital City: Mbabane
Major People Groups: African 97%, European 3%
Religion: Christian 90%, Muslim 2%, other 8%
Language: English, siSwati
GDP Per Capita: $9,900
Literacy Rate: 87.5%