ChristianHub Praying for Africa

Burundi | Week 32

Prayer Points

  • Praise God for relative stability in Burundi after the terrors of the 1990s – when ethnic and political violence saw 300,000 killed – and the unrest of 2015. An elected government now includes both major ethnic groups (Hutu and Tutsi). Pray for genuine respect and cooperation as these two peoples build Burundi’s future together. Decades of violence and the scars of past atrocities are not overcome easily. Building peace is a painstaking process. The 2020 election saw a largely peaceful and successful transition of power from one President to the next – not to be taken for granted! Yet corruption remains a challenge in the country in general. Pray for change that lasts, which only the gospel can bring.
  • Young people and children suffered the brunt of the violence, upheaval and poverty of the last decades. But the majority of Burundi’s population is below 18 years old; most Burundians have no living memory of the dark days of genocide. With such a youthful population, ministry to children and students is incredibly important. Lift these issues up in prayer:

    – The physical needs of children. Around 560,000 children have lost at least one parent, 45% of children under five are undernourished and many thousands suffer from malaria and AIDS. Violence against children is common. Only half of children attend school; but praise God for debt relief, which allows the government to offer free primary education to all children. This should raise enrolment significantly. Pray for the many ministries and NGOs that focus on caring for children and providing them with life opportunities.

    – Specific ministry to children has been almost non-existent, but some agencies are beginning to focus on this issue. CEF, SU, the Anglicans, and New Generation (a local NGO) are examples of such.

    – Student and youth ministry. SU continues to have an effective ministry, especially in the area of evangelism. Seven growing GBU(IFES) groups now focus on evangelism and training leaders. YFC and the Alpha Course also have specific ministry to young people, the former developing Homes of Hope, where orphans from different ethnicities are raised together in a Christian setting.
  • There is a genuine need for expatriate Christian workers. Between 1970 and 1985, nearly all missionaries were expelled by the regime of that time; few returned thereafter due to ongoing instability. Many are needed to work with national leaders in areas of discipleship, theological education, reconciliation and trauma counselling, literacy and education and holistic development. Now, numbers of workers are increasing, but the large majority of these focus on Bujumbura, the capital. Pray for more workers for the neglected rural areas and for ministry that empowers Burundi believers rather than creates dependency. Pray for the calling of the right missionary personnel and their effectiveness, for godly modelling and good relationships with national believers.

Content adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World by Operation World. © 2010 and 2015 by Operation World.  Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, All rights reserved.