An estimated 295 million people worldwide are visually impaired, 40 million of whom are totally blind. The Scottish Bible Society is currently working to provide Braille Bibles for people with sight impairment in Angola, where blind people do not have the same standing as those with healthy sight and are often marginalised and treated as second class citizens. Please pray with us as we seek to give people with Visual Disabilities the opportunity to experience the joy of reading God’s Word for themselves. Pray that the gospel may transform many lives as more people have access to a Braille Bible. Pray too that the church in Angola would reach out to those with a disability and become a more inclusive community.
Healthcare in much of Angola remains limited. In most rural areas there isn’t a single medical facility with trained staff. Many doctors remain in the city but even there the facilities are basic. People continue to die from diseases that may be easily treated if only they were able to see a doctor or a nurse. Landmines are also a major problem. Mines not only maim and kill but they prevent land being cultivated which affects the livelihoods of local people. Pray for the work of groups such as the HALO Trust that have years of gruelling work ahead to clear these areas and make the land safe.
Angola’s president recently put tackling the plight of poor people at the top of his Government’s priority list. “For every 100 Angolans, 60 are very poor and cannot eat normally every day, have no easy access to drinking water, healthcare or a normal home for shelter,” said President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. The extent of poverty remains much the same since the cessation of a 27-year civil conflict eight years ago. Unicef estimates that 54% of the population lives below the international poverty line, i.e. earning less than US$1.25 a day. This is despite Angola ranking alongside Nigeria as one of Africa’s biggest producers of oil. Pray for God to touch the hearts of those in power in Angola, that they will act to stop corruption and ensure that wealth created by oil reserves benefits the many rather than the few.
Following years of war, restructuring within the country is progressing well in the cities but in the rural areas there are still many challenges. The Church is playing a vital role and the Evangelical Baptist Church of Angola has just re-elected General Secretary Pastor Nafilo for a second term of service. With so much to be done with limited resources, great wisdom is needed by him and others making decisions. Pray too for Christian congregations worshipping throughout Angola today – that they will know that they are part of the worldwide Church and not alone.
Population: 25,789,024 (2014)
Official languages: Portuguese
GDP (PPP) per capita: $6,881 (2072 est.)
Life expectancy: 51 years
Religions: 45% indigenous beliefs, 39% Catholic, 14% Protestant, 2% other religions