Kingdom of Lesotho
July 26

Challenges for Prayer

1 The people of Lesotho are prisoners of their geographical position, the divisions and powerlessness of their politicians and lack of resources

2 The Sotho have been largely Christian for generations but traditionalism and nominalism are widespread in both the Catholic Church and the Lesotho Evangelical Church

3 The newer, evangelical, Pentecostal and charismatic denominations and agencies have seen growth

a) Bible teaching

b) Leadership

c) A nation-wide prayer movement has brought a new dynamism to the witness of believers

d) Empowering of women in Christian leadership

4 Areas of special challenge in ministry:

a) AIDS has become a terrible reality and the incidence of HIV has risen to 24% of the adult population

b) The Sephiri, a secret society to which many churchgoers from most denominations belong

c) The more syncretistic, indigenous churches

d) The mountain population of 600,000, most nominally Christian, but having little contact with the life-giving gospel

5 Migrant labourers in South Africa

6 Christian support ministries:

a) MAF has a unique and vital role in this land of high mountains and few roads

b) The JESUS film is being widely used in English and Sotho and is effective in planting new churches

c) Christian radio — TWR Swaziland broadcasts daily in both English and Sotho


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Area 30,355 sq.km. A mountainous country completely surrounded by South Africa.

Population (2000) 2,152,553 +2.24%AGR

Capital Maseru 120,000.


Bantu 99.7%; Other 0.3%.

Literacy 71%. Official languages Sotho, English. All languages 4. Languages with Scriptures 3Bi.


The mountainous topography, poor communications and lack of agricultural land, together with over-population have kept the country poor and hastened soil erosion. HDI 0.582; 127th/174. Public debt 46% of GNP. Income/person $860 (2% of USA).


A British protectorate in 1865.


Freedom of religion.

Religions Population % Adherents Ann.Gr.
Christian 71.85 1,546,609 +1.2%
Traditional ethnic 27.00 581,189 +5.5%
Baha'i 1.10 23,678 +2.2%
non-Religious/other 0.04 861 +17.5%
Muslim 0.01 215 +2.2%
Christians Denom. Affil. % ,000 Ann.Gr.
Protestant 24 12.61 271 +0.9%
Independent 222 13.59 293 +1.8%
Anglican 1 5.02 108 +0.8%
Catholic 1 36.05 776 +1.3%
Marginal 1 0.28 6 +2.7%
Unaffiliated   4.30 93 n.a.

Churches in Lesotho

Missionaries from Lesotho

48 in 9 agencies

Missionaries to Lesotho

117 in 32 agencies from 13 countries

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