Star and the Key of the Indian Ocean (national motto)
| · 16.6% Muslim
Welcome to your dream holiday! is what many brochure headlines read. Famous destinations include Pare Laval’s shrine, located at the Ste-Croix, famous for religiously “converting more than 67,000″ people. Pilgrims will tell you that at certain times there is power to receive healing by just touching the statue there. Close by, you can gaze at and appreciate the Islamic architecture at Jummah Mosque. It was built in the middle of Chinatown in the 1850s.
Religions in Mauritius
Half of the population in Mauritius is Hindu and approximately a fifth is Muslim. Both religions are descendants of laborers that were brought during colonization to work in the sugar cane fields. Many Christians and ministries can be found in Mauritius – Christians comprise over 30% of the population. There are also many Chinese and Sino-Mauritians, Creole (descendants of African slaves) and Franco Mauritian (the original settlers of the island).
The north is more Hindu, and the south is more Catholic. Muslims tend to be concentrated in the main cities of Port Louis, Quatre Bornes, and Curepipe. Most mosques and churches are concentrated in these areas. The offshore island of Rodrigues, with a population of approximately 36,000, is 92 percent Catholic.
Muslim merchants and traders arrived in Mauritius around 1835, establishing firms and stores and becoming leading dealers in foodstuffs and textiles. They prospered and soon began to venture into the sugar industry and eventually became owners of sugar estates and factories.
Ramadan in Mauritius
At the end of Ramadan, the streets are filled with people out visiting friends and family along with fairs, music, dancing, fireworks and children’s games. The atmosphere is very warm and friendly and partying often goes on well into the night. Muslims greet one another with the salutation of “Eid Mubarek” and join in the festivities to mark Eid al-Fitr. Eid means recurring happiness or festivity in Arabic and Al-Fitr literally means the breaking of fast.
Christians minister to Hindu’s and Muslims alike in Mauritius and have good relations with each other. An evangelical media ministry focuses on providing quality Bible teachings on DVDs, CDs and MP3 cds. The MV Doulos visited the port for the third time and called the visit a success. The Doulos was relatively happy that 27 leaders from 17 churches/ organizations worked together to coordinate the visit.
Pray for the beautiful people on the islands of Mauritius:
* The MV Doulos visit revealed that not all the Christians in Mauritius could work well together. Pray for Christian partnerships and collaborations to function properly and to flourish, it is essential to maintain transparency, keep an open spirit, build trust and practice good accountability in order to effectively reach any nation.
* Praise God that over 50,000 people visited the ship.
* Pray that tourists will pray and share the Good News while relaxing and that indigenous ministries can do follow-up and discipleship.
Background on Mauritius (World Factbook)
Mauritius is a volcanic island located in the Indian Ocean but nestled against Africa, east of Madagascar. Culturally diverse, you can celebrate Chinese Spring Festival one month and Maha Shivatree, Divali, or other famous Hindu festivals plus Islam’s Eid-Ul-Fitr to mark the end of Ramadan on other months.
In Mauritius, its ethnic groups, known as “communal groups,” are tightly knit. An individual’s name tends to identify his or her ethnic and religious background. There is a strong correlation between religious affiliation and ethnicity. Citizens of Indian ethnicity usually are Hindus or Muslims. Those of Chinese ancestry generally practice both Buddhism and Catholicism. Creoles and citizens of European descent are typically Catholic.
Economy of Mauritius
Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. This remarkable achievement has been reflected in more equitable income distribution, increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, and a much-improved infrastructure. Sugarcane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 25% of export earnings. The government’s development strategy centers on expanding local financial institutions and building a domestic information telecommunications industry. Mauritius has attracted more than 9,000 offshore entities, many aimed at commerce in India and South Africa, and investment in the banking sector alone has reached over $1 billion. Mauritius, with its strong textile sector, has been well poised to take advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Statistics on Mauritius
Population: 1,313,095 (July 2012 est.) World Rank #155
Life expectancy at birth: 74.71 years. World Rank #100
Ethnic groups: Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%
Religions: Hindu 48%, Roman Catholic 23.6%, other Christian 8.6%, Muslim 16.6%, other 2.5%, unspecified 0.3%, none 0.4%
Languages: Creole 80.5%, Bhojpuri 12.1%, French 3.4%, English (official; spoken by less than 1% of the population), other 3.7%, unspecified 0.3%
School Life Expectancy: 14 years
MAURITIUS (Tourism Video)
Sights and sounds of Mauritius.