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Swaziland is a small, landlocked country of now less than 1 million people. It is bordered by South Africa and Mozambique. Having gained its independence from Britain in 1968, Swaziland is home to the world's last absolute monarchy, with King Mswati III ruling the country since 1986.
One thing that makes Swaziland unique from most all African countries is that its people are all from one tribe - Swazi. There are two major cities, Mbabane and Manzini. The majority of the people live in outlying rural areas, and sustain themselves through subsistence farming. The two official languages are siSwati and English.
The problematic concerns in this nation revolve around economics and health. Roughly 75% of the population live on less than $1 a day. With only 95,000 total jobs in the country, over 60% of adults are unemployed. Because of poor communication infrastructure and government policies, economic growth is limited.
Swaziland also has the world's highest HIV/AIDS infection rate at 26% of the adult population (and higher by some estimates). King Mswati III has created laws to prevent premarital relations, yet Swaziland continues to have the highest infection rate.
Because of the high HIV/AIDS infection rate, the number of orphans is growing exponentially. Currently there are over 120,000 orphans - more than 10% of the population. These children are growing up in a vacuum of family values, life skills and character.
Rampant poverty and disease highlight the nation's need for prayer. Pray for a generation of surviving orphans to rise up and lead their country to full authentic faith in Jesus Christ. Pray for the grandmothers, who are the heroes of Swaziland as they step in to raise the orphans their own children leave behind. Pray for the people who suffer from economic and political problems, and pray for the leader, King Mswati III, as he makes decisions that affect the nation.
A long time prophecy calls Swaziland the "Pulpit of Africa." Pray for the Christian leaders to disciple a nation toward the fulfillment of this prophecy. Pray for the challenges they face as His witnesses in a culture where immorality and occult practices are commonplace. Pray that Christians would not live in compromise, but would stand firm and hold the truth of God's Words with love.