Local Missionaries in Togo
This sliver of a country, only 71 miles in width, is wedged between Ghana and Benin in West Africa. French is Togo’s official language, but two of the other 39 languages used in the country are designated as national languages, Ewé and Kabiyé.
While 45.1 percent of the population identifies as Christian and 15.8 percent as Muslim, those who practice traditional tribal religions are numerous at 38.1 percent of the population, and their animistic beliefs and rituals are practiced by many of the country’s Muslims and Christians.
With animism deeply imbedded in Togo’s culture, belief in witchcraft is widespread. Crop failure, illness and anything else unusual are often blamed on witchcraft, and those accused of being witches or wizards, including many children, can be ostracized or abused. Nearly all ethnic groups in Togo believe in a superior being and lesser divinities who serve as intermediaries. Some of these divinities have large followings and require sacrifices and homage in exchange for protection and good fortune. Certain amulets are believed to protect against evil spells, and ancestor worship is common.
Besides widespread animism, recently Muslims from Lebanon and Nigeria have immigrated to Togo, raising concerns that they could radicalize Togo’s traditionally moderate Muslims.
With these challenges, local missionaries have worked hard to win souls to Christ, and their perseverance has led to the planting of many churches. They need donations for evangelistic events, including facilities rental and providing food for those who attend. Assistance is also sought for Bibles for various people groups, training, missionaries’ monthly expenses, and Christian radio programs that reach roughly half the country.
More than 30 percent of the population lives below the poverty line – and more than 81 percent in rural areas – and local ministries are eager to raise quality of life by digging wells for clean water and other projects and aid.
Sources: Joshua Project, Wikipedia, Globalsecurity.org
How to Pray for
- Pray for churches to be unified and purified of any animistic influences, that they glorify Christ as supreme.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead and strengthen local missionaries as they decide where and how to plant churches.
- Pray that our heavenly Father will use His children to help lift the poor and give them hope.
More stories from Togo
A team of 26 native missionaries prayed that it would not rain during a recent outreach to a village in West Africa, because most of them would be sleeping in the open air. The village in central Togo had little space for visitors to spend the night. They managed to find a small shanty to rent for the women, and the others slept on the ground or on benches. No rain water fell, but later stones did rain down on some of them.