South Africa

About South Africa (from Operation World 2010)

  • Population: 50.4 million (2010)
  • Ethnic makeup: 79.1% Black African, 8.9% Caucasian, 8.9% mixed race, 2.8% Asian
  • 31% of the population is under the age of 15.  Youth ministry is vital for South Africa’s future spiritual health.
  • It is the richest and most industrialized country in Africa, however a vast gap exist between the rich and the poor with 1/3 of the population living below $2/day and an official employment rate at 27% (but in reality much higher).
  • Refugees have streamed over South Africa’s borders to seeking food, jobs or simple safety.  Estimated numbers range from 5 to as high as 18 million.
  • Although HIV occurrence  rate is dropping, the impact of AIDS continues to be devastating.  About 14% of the population are infected with 500,000 new infections every year.
  • There are an estimated 3.8 million orphans (children that have lost one or both parents) in South Africa
  • The infamous apartheid (1948-1994) politically and economically marginalized non-whites which brought untold suffering and pain to the country’s majority. The legacy of apartheid continues to impact the nation as the inequalities and injustices of the past influence the future.
  • Religion: 75% of the country is Christian and Biblical Christianity continues to be strong and influential.

These statistics can cause one to despair and feel hopeless.  However, we know with Christ and because of Christ there is always HOPE.  All of this provides Christians with the opportunity to stand for Christ and be lights for Him in these very dark and difficult places.

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