Chad, a large landlocked country in the heart of the Sahel region of Africa, is scarred by past civil wars and corruption. Discrimination against the Christian population (around 35%) is the norm in this Muslim-majority nation, which has a long history of Muslims oppressing Christians, including seizing them as slaves. Muslim superiority was reinforced during colonial times.
Although modern Chad is a secular state, with a separation between state and religion, the Muslim majority dominates Chadian politics, civil service, armed forces and business. Uneducated Christians are still vulnerable to exploitation, and Muslim cattle raiders try to grab their land.
The Chadian military dealt a major blow to the Boko Haram Islamist terrorist group in April 2020, but Boko Haram attacks were still a threat as they took advantage of the global focus on coronavirus and local Covid-19 lockdowns. With help from Islamic nations, Muslim missionaries were also very active in Chad in 2020, making use of the multiple humanitarian disasters to advance Islam. Chad faced not only Covid-19 but also five other dangerous diseases, floods and drought in different parts of the country, causing widespread malnutrition. There is “a serious threat to the survival of the Christian faith in Chad”, said one church leader.
Non-Muslims are granted less diya (“blood money” i.e. compensation for injury or damage under sharia (Islamic law) payable to the victim, their family or their community) than Muslims for the same injury. Diya is unconstitutional in Chad, yet widely followed. In 2019, the government issued a circular regulating the practice of diya, with the criminal code taking precedence in any conflict with diya practices.
Christians also face persecution from followers of traditional African religions. Animists account for around one-sixth of the population and flourish in the south of Chad, where most of the Christians also live.
Pray that discrimination against, and exploitation of, Christians will end and plans to terrorise and Islamise will fail. Ask God to protect Christians and send His Holy Spirit to strengthen them to withstand the many trials and tribulations they are facing.
The above content can also be found in the Praying for the Persecuted Church (2021-2022) booklet