From cosmopolitan coastlines to traditional villages in the bush, Sub-Saharan Africa’s peoples are vibrant and energetic.
Many Christians live in parts of this region. But Islam’s influence is expansive, stretching from the Red Sea down into East Africa and westward toward the Atlantic along the southern edge of the Sahara desert.
The Sahel, a semi-arid belt separating the Sahara from the savanna, covers a large part of this Muslim region. This landscape of grass and shrubs rolls across the breadth of the continent, providing cropland and pasture for farmers and nomadic herders.
Political instability and humanitarian crises have characterized some countries in the region. Abundant opportunities exist to advocate for social justice, serve the urban poor, and bring about Gospel transformation.
Throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, Muslims have a heightened awareness of the spiritual world around them. Their devotion to Islam is steeped in folk practices meant to appease spirits and guard against sickness, misfortune, and curses.
In parts of the region, the stain of slavery retains a visible hold on hearts and lives. Along the Atlantic coast, slave trading forts still stand, marking the door of no return for untold millions of enslaved Africans shipped across the Atlantic to the Americas. In some countries, pernicious class systems perpetuate the enslavement of marginalized peoples.