A. THE COUNTRY
The Republic of Tunisia, the northernmost country in Africa, is
mountainous and agricultural in the north, and Sahara desert in the
south. Government is an authoritarian regime in the guise of a
multiparty democracy. The government’s claimed success in oppressing
political Islam and its pro-western foreign policy, have protected it
from criticism for its lack of democratic accountability and its
violations of human rights and freedom of press. Tunisia has economic
stability and development while having limited natural resources and a
large trade deficit. Tourism, textiles, olive oil and phosphates are
the major foreign currency earners as the service industry increases.
B. THE PEOPLE
The population is ~10,400,000 and official language Arabic.
~97.8% are Arab, ~1.9% Berber, ~0.3% Other (French, Italian, Jewish).
Young people are disillusioned with the lack of future prospects.
Women have more freedom than in some other Muslim countries.
C. RELIGIONS AND CHRISTIANITY/PENTECOSTALISM
Islam is the state religion. The government strongly maintains a
secular tone. Only a minority actively practice their faith but in the
years since 9/11 and subsequent events in the political-religious
sphere, many Tunisians have become more fervent in their Islamic faith.
The government prohibits indigenous churches from owning their own
property and having their own bank accounts. There are about 500
committed indigenous believers today.
~99.37% are Muslims, ~0.3% Non-religious, ~0.22% claim to be Christian,
In the Christian category:
~0.2% are Catholic, ~0.01% Protestant; Independents, Anglicans, Orthodox
and those considered ‘marginal’ are each <0.01%.
Evangelicals represent <0.1% of the population.
Charismatics and Pentecostals each represent <0.1% of the population.
Operation World, Jason Mandryk. Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing, 2010.