Unveiling God's light in Zanzibar

Derek Prince Ministries
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Derek Prince Ministries

We bring you an update from our recent mission trip to Zanzibar, in February 2024. Zanzibar is part of Tanzania and a wonderful holiday destination - but very hard ground for the gospel. The need for Biblical materials and training here is immeasurable.

In the past years, we managed to send Derek’s Bible materials to Zanzibar, but this was the first time we made a formal outreach visit. We saw some amazing things happen. We met the right people at the right time, and even had some extra time to fit everything in – thanks to God’s divine help!

We saw some amazing things happen, thanks to God’s divine help!

Zanzibar is mostly Muslim, with about 95% of the population practicing Islam. This means there's not a lot of exposure to Christianity, and Christians often face discrimination. About a decade ago, Zanzibar experienced one of its hardest times, whereby religious violence and suppression of Christians by Muslims was at its worst.

Today, Christians are still frequently faced with cases of religion-related discrimination for employment vacancies and higher education opportunities. There are also cases of forced conversion to Islam, forced sex and marriages for one to hold a job.

A Struggling Church

The Church in Zanzibar has its challenges, though, besides these external pressures. During the darkest years of persecution, pastors and churches laid aside their differences and united, but when persecution subsided they returned to skirmishes and denominationalism. Please pray for the unity of Christians in Zanzibar, which is a critical quality if the Church is to be salt and light in the community. pastors don't have enough Bible knowledge to nourish their flock to any significant spiritual maturity and edification. Often, they struggle with a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. Instead of grasping opportunities for growth and development, they dwell on the past. In most churches, there are no Sunday school programs for children, who are largely left unattended. This leaves them vulnerable to spiritual weakness.  

Change is Coming

But here's the exciting part – things are starting to change.

Recent years have seen a relative calm, which has created new opportunities to share the Gospel, especially in the main city of Unguja. The Revolution Government even allowed a Christian TV channel to be aired on the island! Less than 10% of Zanzibaris have been reached with the Gospel, so if the church wakes up and accepts her responsibility to address this challenge, a major revival and spiritual revolution would be within sight.

During our visit, we held Bible workshops with four different churches. We set up two Bible study groups that will be meeting every fortnight, using Derek Prince’s Self-Study Bible Course. We also initiated communication about doing more ministry in places like prisons and with pastors.

Zanzibar, spiritually speaking, is a stronghold of darkness. As we continue to sow the seeds of the Word of God in this nation, we ask for your continued prayers and support. Together, let us press on in faith, knowing that God is at work in Zanzibar, and His plans will ultimately prevail.

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