A. THE COUNTRY
The Kingdom of Swaziland is a small, landlocked enclave between
Mozambique and South Africa. There is a strong monarchy with a
democratic government. While the monarchy has ostentatious wealth in
such a poor country, the king encourages distribution and reading of the
Bible. The economy is mostly pastoral and agricultural, but there is
also some mineral production and manufacturing. Main exports are:
sugar, citrus fruit and wood pulp, trade being mainly with South Africa.
The prevalence of AIDS seriously affects the economy.
B. THE PEOPLE
The population is ~1,202,000 and the official languages are siSwati and
English. More than a quarter of Swazis between the ages of 15 and 49
are believed to carry HIV. Many households are orphaned and led by the
oldest sibling. There is a shortage of anti-HIV drugs in this
cash-strapped country. ~96.6% are Bantu, ~3.4% Other.
C. RELIGIONS AND CHRISTIANITY/PENTECOSTALISM
~84.68% claim to be Christian, ~12.2% Ethnoreligionist, ~1.5%
Non-religious, ~1% Muslim, ~0.48% Baha’i., ~0.14% Hindu.
The African Independent Churches claim more than half the population.
Their beliefs range from an evangelical theological position to a high
degree of compromise with polygamy, witchcraft, ancestor veneration and
appeasement sacrifices. In the Christian category:
~49.01% are Independent, ~19.8% Unaffiliated, ~9.64% Protestant, ~4.74%
Catholic, ~0.88% Anglican.
Evangelicals represent ~25.1% of the population.
Charismatics represent ~45.9% and of those 4.5% are Pentecostals.
Operation World, Jason Mandryk. Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing, 2010.
The Gideon’s newsletter, February 2011.