At the forefront of the global cocoa bean trade, Côte d’Ivoire mirrors the chocolate that its beans are used to create. Dark, bitter seasons of national dissension, ethnic division, and economic downfall have visited the nation in recent years leaving what was internationally recognized as a model of stability in near ruins.
Having gained independence from France in 1960, Côte d’Ivoire remained stable and prosperous until a 1999 military coup. In the decades since, Côte d’Ivoire has struggled to regain unity, as geographical division, civil wars, and rebellion steal precious years from the nation’s peaceful history. After the formal removal of its president and installation of a new, freely elected leader in 2011, Muslims in the north and Christians and animists who occupy the south continue to face political and religious tension, and a once vibrant economy faces ongoing instability.
Though national unity continues to be elusive, Christians in Côte d’Ivoire are experiencing increased unity through collaborative events such as radio broadcasting and publishing partnerships. While the number of evangelical churches is on the rise, there are many spiritual needs of Côte d’Ivoire. Religious syncretism between Christianity and traditional African beliefs is cause for great concern. Though there are various theological institutions in Côte d’Ivoire, a basic understanding of Scripture and theology is a far greater need among believers. Pray that the Holy Spirit would move among Ivorians and instigate a revival that would sweep across a nation filled to the brim with broken, diseased, and lost individuals in dire need of the Gospel.
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