Official Country Name:Republic of Madagascar
Region:East and Southern Africa
Government:Semi-Presidential Democratic Republic
Official Languages:Malagasy, Plateau
Religious Demographics:Christian ±54%, Evangelical ±11%, Muslim ±7%, Ethnoreligious ±42%
Number of Evangelicals
The Red Island to Tell the Glory of God to the Nations
The island nation of Madagascar lies just off the southeast coast of Africa and is home to 28,427,333 people. A predominantly Christian nation, the nation has a rich history of Christianity that was greatly influenced by the invasion and colonization by the French in the 19th century.
In 1885, Alfred Grandidier, a naturalist and French explorer, arrived in Madagascar and devoted his life to the study of the island. When he experienced the tropical and peaceful nature of the massive island, he named it ""Madagascar,"" meaning ""No Hurry."" Source: Madagascar history Later, as more Europeans began to settle on the island, it gained the nickname ""The Red Island"" from its copious quantities of red dirt.
The London Missionary Society sent its members to the island in the 19th century, which spurred a wave of Christianity, specifically Protestantism. Religion soon became woven together with politics and authority, as the nation was under the rule of their Queen Ranavalona, who was extremely concerned with the furthering of religion. Printing presses were specifically dedicated to the making of hymnals, and translators worked on translating the New Testament into many different languages present in Madagascar. Attendance at Church was taken, and she oversaw the administration of sacraments herself. However, after the conversion of many political and community leaders, Ranavalona became weary of how Christianity might be taking her subject's eyes off of their ancestral worship and other ethnic practices that she supported alongside Christianity. She then outlawed Christian marriages and put a ban on preaching and baptizing.
Upon her death in 1861, her son rapidly succeeded his mother and repealed all her laws. Once again, Christianity was allowed to flourish and be practiced openly. A century later, the nation eventually revolted against its French ownership and gained its political freedom in 1960. Source: Peru - Muslims invade Spain
Today, the Malagasy evangelical church has religious freedom from the government to practice freely and experiences very little persecution. The Lord has been beautifully and strategically shaping the Malagasy Church to share His gospel with the unreached for thousands of years. Pray that the Lord would make clear that calling to His Church today so that the Malagasy church could be awakened to how God has uniquely prepared it to go to the nations!