[SA Prayer Practicum Index] [Prayer-School Index] [Prayer Mini-Series Index ] [Next Prayer Target]
Targeting South Africa
Prayer Target: Introduction To And Prayer For South Africa
For the next 6 to 8 weeks, we will be doing a corporate prayer workshop to target the nation of South Africa. On Monday of each week, a prayer target will be sent to the school. It will introduce an area of prayer concern, and contain an opening prayer. These will be written by South African Nationals and by people who have ministered in South Africa. The prayer targets will cover a variety of areas: practical, political, social and spiritual. We will soak this nation in prayer over the next 6 to 8 weeks.
Please pray for the week's target during the week. Feel free to please post your prayers to the prayer-school list. Let us see what focused corporate intercession on behalf of a nation will do.
This first week will be an introduction to the Nation of South Africa. Subsequent weeks will target specific areas of prayer...
South Africa, is on the Southern tip of Africa, with the Atlantic Ocean on it's west and the Indian Ocean on it's south and east. Neighboring countries are Namibia in the northwest, Zimbabwe and Botswana in the north, and Mozambique and Swaziland in the northeast. It is about 471,500 square miles (or 1,220,000 square KM) in size.
The climate is mild and warm, by comparison to the intense heat of it's northern neighbors. The country has beautiful landscape and many natural resources... in some respects, "a land flowing with milk and honey". The Capetown area has lush hillsides and vineyards. The Johannesburg area is home to the richest diamond minds in the world.
The population (as of Jan, 2000) is approximate 43,420,000. Of this, 75.2% (or 32,652,000) are black, 13.6% (or 5,905,000) are white, 8.6% (or 3,734,000) are colored, and 2.6% (or 1,129,000) are immigrants, mostly Indian. The languages spoken there include English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Sesotho sa Leboa, Sesotho, Swait, Xitsonga, Setswana, Tshivenda, Xhosa and Zulu. The main religions are Christian, Hindo and Islam. Their currency is the Rand, which is worth about .17 US Dollars or about .10 Great British Pound. Their current president is Thabo Mbeki, elected in 1999.
In a sense, South Africa is a brand new nation. Their former government was transformed in 1993, with elections following in 1994. They began reworking their constitution shortly after that. Several new minority political parties were formed in 1994, including the A.C.D.P .. a Christian political party. That party is just a small minority of the government, but grew substantially in the 1999 elections. The head of that party is an ordained minister named Keneth Meshoe, a black man who is full of the love of the Lord.
The Capetown area was "settled" commercially by the Dutch East Indian Company in 1652. The Europeans formed a colony and remained a small minority.. numbering only 15,000 in 1795 AD. They tried (but failed) to establish their own independent republic. These people were known as the Boers and spoke a Dutch dialect called Afrikaans.
Britain took permanent possession of South Africa in 1814. They brought in 5,000 settlers, increasing the European population by almost 25%. They Anglicized the government, and freed slaves in 1833. There was tension between the original Dutch settlers (the Afrikaners) and the English speaking British. As a result, about 12,000 Afrikaners migrated north and east to settle into African tribal territory. There, they established the republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free State.
In 1867, diamonds were discovered. In 1875 gold was also discovered. The wealth of these two natural resources greatly increased international attention to South Africa. Westerners began pouring in. These immigrants, known as "outlanders" sparked an armed rebellion in 1895, forcing the Prime Minister of the Cape Colony to resign. This lead to a war between the British and the Boers (Afrikaners) in 1899. The Boers were defeated in 1902 and in 1910, there was a union of various territories to form the Union of South Africa: it was composed of four provinces, the two former republics, and the old Cape and Natal colonies. Louis Botha, a Boer, became the first prime minister. Organized political activity among Africans started with the establishment of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1912.
In World War II, South Africa was part of the Allied forces, and they joined the United Nations in 1945. But they refused to sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, because they supported Apartheid (racial segregation between whites and non-whites). The segregation increased, and in 1936, african voters were removed from the voter rolls.
The tension between Afrikaner (Dutch descendants) and British (English speaking) remained high. On May 31, 1961, the Republic of South Africa issues a declaration breaking it's ties with Great Britan. Then in 1963, a law was passed to restrict the freedom of anyone opposing rigid racial laws. This brought increased racial tension internally and strong criticism from the outside world. The Prime Minister, Verwoerd, was assassinated. His successor, Vorster, tried to mend the fences by offering minor concessions to conservative black African states, offering loans and trade concessions... e.g, limited reform, but sill severe racial oppression.
In 1987, the right-wing Conservative Party gained control as the opposition part. They were influential in fighting the National Party's "limited reform". It was a white-only vote, but it showed a strong conservative reaction against what the government was doing.
A stroke led Botha to step down as leader of his party in 1989. He was replaced by De Klerk, who speeded up the reform. In 1990, he removed the ban from the African National Congress, the principal anti-apartheid organization. He also released Nelson Mandela from jail, where he'd been a political prisoner for 27 years because of his anti-apartheid stand. Negotiations between the government and Mandela's African National Party commenced.
In 1991, parliament overturned the country's apartheid laws. In Feb of 1993, the first non-whites entered the cabinet in an apparent bid to broaden the base of the ruling National Party.
In 1994, Mandela was elected president, and the ANC took control of the government. The new government included six ministers from the National Party and three from the Inkatha Freedom Party.
In 1997 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, chaired by Desmond Tutu, began hearings regarding human rights violations between 1960 and 1993. The commission promised amnesty to those who confessed their crimes under the apartheid system. In 1998 F. W. de Klerk, P. W. Botha, and leaders of the ANC appeared before the commission, and the nation continued to grapple with its process of national recovery.
Nelson Mandela retired in 1999. Thabo Mbeki, assumed many of Mandela's responsibilities. On June 2, 1999, Thabo Mbeki was elected President. In that same election the Christian political party (ACDP) gained 300% more votes as it had previously.. still a small minority, but growing rapidly. They went from 2 national seats and 3 provencial seats to 6 national and 4 provencial, making them the 6th largest of South Africa's 12 political parties. There is another Christian political party, the United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP) , which has 3 seats. That means Christians hold 9 of 400 seats in National Parliament. South Africa may be the only nation in the world that has registered Christian political parties and where Christians are legally allowed to make an impact in the legislation of the country's policies and practices.
Lord, please touch and bless the nation of South African. Spend a spiritual awakening over that nation that crosses all ethnic and economic barriers and truly unites the people as one in You. Send forth Your glory to this nation. Let this "baby" nation become truly a Christian nation, and make them a force in spreading Your kingdom throughout the world.