Zambia is home to stoic savannah plateaus, the cascading waters of Victoria Falls, and game parks teeming with wild African creatures. Zambia also houses some of the most thriving metropolitan cities in Sub-Saharan Africa, which are filled with people from the nation’s more than 70 ethnic groups. Both diverse in natural beauty and human ethnicity, Zambia remains a destination for tourists as well as a model for peace and ethnic harmony.
Donning the name Zambia in 1963, the newly independent state began the tedious task of political construction. A constitution was established in 1973, however a one-party state left little room for political freedom. By 1991, demands for political diversity led to the establishment of a new constitution and greater political freedom. While the Zambian government has faced intermittent reports of corruption, the nation has remained surprisingly peaceful in a rare commodity amongst Zambia’s neighbors. The nation’s economy is heavily dependent on copper, and it is the world’s largest producer of the metal. Though affected by a recession during the 1970s, recent investment in mining and rising copper prices are hopeful indicators of an economy on the mend.
Despite economic advances, Zambia faces high unemployment rates, with over 70% of its population living in poverty. A high prevalence of HIV/AIDS among adults has drained the healthcare system and economy of resources, and HIV/AIDS related deaths have left over 710,000 children orphaned. Formally recognized as a Christian nation since 1991, Zambia is completely open to the Gospel. Evangelicals in particular have experienced exciting growth and compose 26% of the population, compared to 4% in 1960. Islam, which is growing twice as fast as Christianity, is targeting Zambia with increasing fervor, and there is great need for Zambians who are able to minister to the growing number of Muslims. Pray that God would grow a spiritual fervency among Zambian believers, sending them out with the Gospel to the poor, sick, and spiritually needy.