Top 5 People Groups
West Limba: 435,000
About Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa that is bordered by Guinea to the northeast, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its tropical climate supports a mixed landscape of rainforests and savannah. A Portuguese explorer visited the area in 1462 and named it Serra Leoa, meaning “Lioness Mountains.”
Originally the territory comprising modern-day Sierra Leone was an important center for the transatlantic slave trade. In 1792 Freetown (now the capital city) was founded by the Sierra Leone Company as a home for freed slaves in the British Empire. In 1808 Freetown became a British colony, and in 1896, the interior of the country became a British Protectorate. Sierra Leone became independent from Britain in 1961.
Diamond mining is the primary industry. The country is also a major producer of gold, titanium, and bauxite. Despite a wealth of natural resources, Sierra Leone has been ranked as the world´s poorest country for most of the last decade. Most citizens survive on less than a dollar a day. Infant and maternal mortality rates are high, and life expectancy is around age 47.
The nation is moving forward after 11 years of civil war that claimed over 50,000 lives, maimed thousands, displaced two million people, and wrecked the infrastructure. The establishment of a constitutional republic and peaceful elections are encouraging signs that the conflict is over. Threats to stability remain, however, with concerns over corruption, particularly involving the diamond trade.
Although predominantly Muslim, there is an influential Christian minority making up about 13 percent of the population. The country is ranked as one of the most religiously tolerant nations in the world, and people marry across ethnic and religious boundaries. For the most part, Muslims and Christians interact peacefully.
30 ethnic groups are found in Sierra Leone, each with their own language and customs. The two largest are the Mende and the Temne. Among those least evangelized are the Koranko who live in the mountainous regions of Sierra Leone and are socially isolated. The majority of the Koranko follow their traditional tribal religion and believe in Nyenne or bush spirits.
Recent Prayerline Posts
SIERRA LEONE. The Minnesota Graduate School of Theology has an innovative program that allows indigenous missionaries to take courses without leaving their ministries. It brings 25 pastors together in their home country, teaching them to train others how to fulfill the Great Commission. Two native missionaries seek help to cover the costs ...
SIERRA LEONE. A native ministry planted 10 churches last year in rural areas of Sierra Leone and plans to help establish these fellowships while planting others this year. The ministry has a passion to train leaders in evangelism and discipleship so congregations thrive and communities are transformed. To plant and establish churches ...
While Americans are rightly concerned about flooding in and around Houston, more than 1,000 people have died in the West African country of Sierra Leone after torrential rains set off floods and mudslides in Freetown on Aug. 14 – followed by a massive fire. A near-culture ministry has set up a cooking and distribution site to feed destitute victims who have lost everything in the ongoing crisis, but it urgently needs to do more. Read more.