Senegal and Sobriety

Many people have never heard of the nation of Senegal, and most people who have only know it as being home to the famous Dakar Rally. (Which sadly moved to South America in 2009) - however its an unique nation in West Africa and has an particularly interesting slant on seeing the gospel.

Slightly to the North is the nation of Mauritania where it is illegal to hear the gospel. Many nations have made it illegal to proselytize, or share the gospel, but Mauritania goes one further in banning its citizens from hearing a gospel presentation. When I found that out, it made sense of a previous conversation I had had many years earlier on icq.com with a Mauritanian man. Once he heard I was a Christian he wanted to end the conversation immediately. So Mauritania is a tough nut to crack for the gospel and the nation is about 99% populated with Muslims who are all being careful not to "be tricked" into hearing the gospel.

However back in Senegal it's quite different. The percentage of Muslims is about the same, however there are considerably less restrictions under their law on either sharing or listening to the gospel. They are just as intense for their religion as any other nation in a similar situation and yet they don't stop Christians preaching.... because as it turns out they don't believe Christians are a threat.

In their culture their term for Christians means "the ones who drink."

When I read this in Operation World, I was shocked to think that the Christians in that nation had used alcohol and had become known for being drinkers. So much so that it had changed the very name by which they were referred.

Having said all of this, I have lived in an easy nation most of my life and don't really have a real understanding of the difficulty of being a believer in a nation which has a majority of Muslims. So I don't in any way condemn my Christian family there, but I do wonder what it would be like if there was a different kind of example set.

Would the law be changed to ban evangelism? Would the gospel take storm if the believers took it seriously? I don't know the answers to these questions, but I do sense a great opportunity is in Senegal waiting for well meaning believers to take advantage of. No matter what, let us pray for Senegal.

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