Pray for: Benin—Continued religious freedom; spiritual growth of evangelical churches and increase in their influence; wise health and economic policies; government reform
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Benin

Population: 10,653,654

Rank: Central Africa: 18th; World: 84th

Languages: French (official); Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south); tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)
Major People Groups: 39% Fon; 15% Adja; 12% Yoruba; 9% Bariba

Please pray for Christians in Benin: that God will strengthen the evangelical churches and call His people to purity.

Benin is one of the most stable and safe countries in West Africa, but remains an extremely poor country, suffering from poverty and corruption. Infrastructure remains very poor in condition, and the struggling economy is recovering after decades of political unrest.

Benin has great natural resources, including sea access, untapped agricultural resources and productive oil fields, reserves estimated at 44 million barrels.

Although it is a majority Christian nation, evangelicals are in the minority (but growing). Far too many Christians have a syncretized, compromised faith that sees them in church on Sunday and consulting the witch doctor during the week.

Benin is said to be the birthplace of voodoo, and some 1.6 million still practice this religion. An annual International Vodun Conference has been held in the city of Ouidah since 1991.

Benin Government

Patrice Talon, President of Benin since April 6, 2016.

Unicameral Parliament
Political Group Seats
FCBE-Amana 33
UN 13
PRD 10
AND 5
RB-RP 7
Sun Alliance 4
FDU 4
ABT 2
Scout Alliance 2
UB 2
Résoatao Party 1
FCBE–Amana (33) UN (13) PRD (10) AND (5) RB–RP (7) Sun Alliance (4) FDU (4) ABT (2) Scout Alliance (2) UB (2) Résoatao Party (1)

Christian ministries operating

In Benin
Campus Crusade for Christ
ABWE
Christian Aid Mission
SIM International
Great Commission Resources International - School of Missions
Benin Bible Institute

Population is estimated to be 27 percent Roman Catholic, 24 percent Muslim, 17 percent Voudon (Voodoo), 6 percent other indigenous religious groups, and 5 percent Celestial Christian.

Groups constituting less than 5 percent each include Methodists, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Jehovah’s Witnesses, Rosicrucians, Bahais, Baptists, Pentecostals, the Unification Church, and Eckankar. Seven percent claim no religious affiliation.

Many individuals who identify themselves as Christian or Muslim also practice Voodoo or other traditional religions. Most Muslims are Sunni and are concentrated in northern areas. The few Shia Muslims are primarily foreign residents and reside in Benin for commercial reasons. Southern areas are more heavily Christian. Source

GMO Online Missionaries in Benin

Francine Nicoue

Franck Hounsa


Benin Conditions

Malaria is a primary cause of death for children under five, but the AIDS rate in Benin is relatively low for Central Africa. In the 1980's, Benin's infant mortality rate was among the highest in the world, but that has improved greatly after a joint healthcare reform effort among Sub-Saharan African nations called the Bamako Initiative in 1987.

Life expectancy in Benin is about 62 years, and infant mortality is about 63 per thousand.

The equatorial south of Benin experiences two rainy seasons of the year, from April to mid July and from mid-September through the end of October. The rainy period in the subequatorial north runs from March until October. The best time of the year to visit the country is from November to February, when the temperature moderates, and the weather is dry with low humidity.

Benin, compared to its neighbours, is geographically small, similar in size to Honduras or Ohio. The country is basically divided into five geographic zones, from south to north: the Coastal plain, the plateau, the elevated plateau and savannah, hills in the northwest, and fertile plains in the north.

GMO's Stats on Benin

In 2015, Global Media Outreach registered 361,361 gospel visits, 56,286 indicated decisions and 13,505 discipleship visits. We have 2 Online Missionaries who live in Benin.

 

“I was born albino into a polytheistic family.” Being albino caused others to consider Franck one of the many gods in the pantheon of Benin, and his parents made him go through all the attendant rituals of their superstitions, including a long list of prohibitions. He was filled with “bitterness and hatred” because of these prohibitions, angry against the “Great God” who created him. Why did he have to suffer from the sun? Why did was his eyesight so poor? Why did his companions have so little understanding and mock him? In 1999, he was invited to go to discussions on the Bible from the Christian community. He went with the intention of proving the Bible to be false, but his heart was touched by the thought that God loved him despite the fact that he knew he was a sinner. He saw that God commanded “all men everywhere to repent” and he did not know how he could be changed so radically. It was as if he heard the voice in his mind: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears me and opens the door I will come in...” “From that day I began to see a change in my life. I’m not god. Better, I’m not bitter and full of hate... I know that if I die today, I will live with God forever.” —Beninese OM Franck Hounsa

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Member Prayer Requests/Praise Report from last week

Notes from 4/19 (before vacation)

Frank:

  • pray for him. He spoke at retirement community ministry on Sunday. (4/23)
  • Pray for a ministry, a seminary, in Bunia, Congo. Dr. Katya & a number of Brethren assemblies circulating. A lady from the seminary lives at Frank's retirement home.
  • Please continue to pray for John. He is manifesting the tendency of millennials toward established church.

Mike:

  • Cindy’s car not worth fixing. This is 4th time since moving here in 2015. Update: we ended up buying a new car, our first in 16 years.
  • We traveled to FL 4/25 for Emily's graduation & 18th birthday. Cindy & kids return tomorrow. Cindy isn't feeling well.

Janis:

  • Steve & Janis didn’t get to see Josh during Easter break.
  • Doctors couldn’t get him totally off steroids because of the pain. He’s not taking as many pain pills though. But fractures he has are improving.
  • Expectation - will he recover totally? Doctor surprised he survived at the beginning. He’s been on Steroids for a year (since March, 2016). There is no other option.