• Pray for the Gospel to infiltrate every island, regardless of restrictions and mounting persecution.
• Pray for freedom from fear brought on by the false teachings of the occult and Islam.
• Pray for courage and strength for the small group of believers worshipping despite great risk.
Painted with volcanoes and hills, the southern African nation of Comoros consists of three main islands between Madagascar and northern Mozambique. The picturesque tropical beaches on the islands are post-card perfect and give the impression of an island paradise. However, since the Union of Comoros gained independence from France in 1975, it has suffered through more than 20 coups or attempted coups in a thirst for power. The instability has left Comoros as one of the poorest countries in Africa – dangerously close to disintegration. A constitution was ratified in 2001, allowing the presidency to rotate among the islands every four years.
Roughly half of the population is literate, and the low education level causes high unemployment and a heavy dependence on foreign grants and technical assistance. Wracked with internal disputes, the government lacks a cohesive strategy to attract foreign investors. The International Monetary Fund approved a 2009 loan that has yet to be proven effective, as the government has not met program targets such as strengthening domestic revenue collection and advancing structural reforms. The legal system is a mixture of Islamic religious law, 1975 French civil code, and customary law.
Although the constitution technically allows freedom of religion, 99.9% of the Comorian people are Muslim. Muslim ideals are reinforced on children at Quranic schools. Islamic fundamentalism is on the rise, and many are also involved with occult practices such as witchcraft and spirit possessions. Comoros is known as a restricted nation, where Christians are persecuted or oppressed as a result of government policy. There is frequent social discrimination, and in some areas the practice of Christianity is expressly prohibited. Of the 770,000 inhabitants, there may be as few as 100-500 Comorian believers (though exact numbers are not known) and no official national churches. Only three churches exist in the entire nation, and these are strictly to be used by non-nationals. A strong but quiet witness exists from medical and veterinary teams that have gained public respect.
The main priority of a missionary is to bring the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who have never heard the Good News. LCMS missionaries usually share that Good News in the language of the people they serve.
When the Holy Spirit begins to gather people into Christian fellowship, missionaries assist these new Christians in forming their own indigenous church leaders.
Today, the LCMS trains, sends and supports called and appointed career, long-term and short-term missionaries in various countries around the world and in the United States where there are mission stations, partner churches, schools or mission relationships.
LCMS missionary teams are made up of people who focus on planting churches, leadership formation or some type of locally initiated holistic services in areas of health, agriculture, community development, English-as-a-Foreign-Language classes or partner support activities.
Missionary teachers also serve in international schools where missionary children, expatriates, and often national children attend. Agricultural and medical missionaries are utilized when their work will strategically contribute towards reaching and gathering a communities of believers, so that churches can be planted.
Missionaries usually spend a good deal of time when they first arrive on the field developing language skills and learning about the culture and mastering a foreign language.
The overall LCMS mission “team” consists of ordained pastors, directors of Christian education, directors of Christian outreach, deaconesses, teachers, lay ministers, Directors of Parish music, medical professionals, agriculturalists, vicars, church work program interns, retired Lutheran laity and college graduates. All are scattered across the globe working together with national partners to tell the Good News of the salvation that is found only in Jesus Christ.