| · Population of Conakry: 1 million
Anti-Christian Influence in Conakry, Guinea
Situated on the west coast of Africa, Guinea is the least evangelised African country south of the Sahara. For 26 years following its independence from France in 1958, the nation was under the strongly anti-Christian socialist influence and most missionaries where forced out of the country in 1968. The socialist government was overthrown in 1984 through a bloodless military coup d’etat. President Lansana Conte introduced religious liberty and led the country toward democracy.
The Capital and largest city is, Conakry. Situated on Tombo Island, it is connected with the mainland by a causeway. Conakry’s port is extensively used in the export of bauxite, one of the principal export products of Guinea. This city of over one million inhabitants is almost 100% Muslim. Each day, large numbers of Muslims gather for prayer in the city’s mosques, which are some of the largest in West Africa. Conakry has about 20 Evangelical congregations and a few Catholic churches. Overall about 80% of Guine’s population is Muslim, 16% animist and 4% Christian.
The Muslim Peoples of Conakry, Guinea
The main Muslim peoples are the Fulas, the Maninkas, and the Susu. Islam in Guinea is largely folk Islam. The first Guineans converted to Islam from animism were among the Fulas in the 17th century. The Fulas see themselves as the guardians and missionaries of Islam in Guinea. Even now many of the Fula children learn Arabic and can often recite the Qur’an in Arabic although few understand its meaning. The Maninkas and the Susus were only converted from animism to Islam in the 19th century. There are very few Christians among these Muslim peoples of Guinea.
In recent years a Maninka Imam heard an audiocassette testimony of Moussa Kone, a former Muslim marabout (Folk Islamic holy man). Being the son of a marabout himself he listened attentively. He temporarily set aside his work as a carpenter and began to compare the Bible verses and the Qur’anic texts. After one month of intense studies he chose to follow Jesus. He sought out the pastor of a nearby church and asked him to help him follow Christ. Since that time he intensely reads his Bible and participates in church activities helping others discover faith in Christ.
Prayer guide for Conakry, Guinea:
* Pray for political stability. There are several civil wars and much unrest in the neighbouring countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal. There are possibly 600,000 refugees presently in Guinea.
* Pray for a significant penetration of the Gospel among the principal people groups of the Fulas, Maninkas and the Susus.
* Pray for increased vision and unity among the Christians.
* Pray for the city of Conakry (‘Should I not be concerned about that great city?’ Jonah 4:11).
Background on Guinea (World Factbook)
Guinea has had only two presidents since gaining its independence from France in 1958. Lansana CONTE came to power in 1984 when the military seized the government after the death of the first president, Sekou TOURE. Guinea did not hold democratic elections until 1993 when Gen. CONTE (head of the military government) was elected president of the civilian government. He was reelected in 1998 and again in 2003. Unrest in Sierra Leone and Liberia has spilled over into Guinea on several occasions over the past decade, threatening stability and creating humanitarian emergencies. A transitional government led by General Sekouba KONATE held democratic elections in 2010 and Alpha CONDE was elected president in the country’s first free and fair elections since independence.
Economy of the Republic of Guinea
Guinea possesses major mineral, hydropower, and agricultural resources, yet remains an underdeveloped nation. The country possesses almost half of the world’s bauxite reserves and is the second-largest bauxite producer. The mining sector accounted for over 70% of exports in 2004. Long-run improvements in government fiscal arrangements, literacy, and the legal framework are needed if the country is to move out of poverty. Fighting along the Sierra Leonean and Liberian borders, as well as refugee movements, have caused major economic disruptions, aggravating a loss in investor confidence. Panic buying has created food shortages and inflation and caused riots in local markets. Guinea is not receiving multilateral aid; the IMF and World Bank cut off most assistance in 2003. International investors have expressed keen interest in Guinea’s vast iron ore reserves, which could further propel the country’s growth.
Population: 11,176,026 (July 2013 est.) World Rank #76
Life expectancy at birth: 59.11 years. World Rank #195
Ethnic groups: Peuhl 40%, Malinke 30%, Soussou 20%, smaller ethnic groups 10%
Religions: Muslim 85%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 7%
Languages: French (official); note – each ethnic group has its own language
Literacy: 41% male: 52%, female: 30%
School Life Expectancy: 10 years
Video: Conakry Streets, Guinea
Sights and sounds from Conakry Streets.