Zambia is a landlocked country in south – central Africa. It is bordered by Malawi, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Zambia is a very beautiful country with a hospitable climate. Zambia’s main natural resources are large deposits of copper and cobalt. Being mainly a savannah, Zambia has the potential of becoming the “bread basket” of southern Africa. It is because of its geography that Zambia is a strategic country when it comes to sharing the gospel and starting churches. The gospel has the potential to branch out to the 8 surrounding countries impacting the greater Sub-Saharan Africa area.
Zambia was known as Northern Rhodesia before it gained independence as a republic in 1964. The government of Zambia is very stable with free elections every four years for the President and the members of Parliament. Zambia, unlike many of her neighbors enjoys civil rest.
Zambia is one of the most highly urbanized countries in Sub-Sahara Africa. It is a popular tourist destination. Zambia shares the seventh natural wonder of the world, the mighty Victoria Falls, with her neighbor to the south, Zimbabwe. Tourists also enjoy the many large Natural Parks where game animals can be safely viewed in their natural habitat. Zambia has a thriving copper-mining industry along with an agriculture industry of maize, soybeans, cotton, sugar and other various vegetables. The market for second-hand clothing imports has had both positive and negative effects on the economy.
Zambia’s population is approximately 10 million people. There are many modern cities while the outskirts and other areas of the country are mainly comprised of bush people. The inhabitants of Zambia are a combination of many different ethnic groups such as Bemba, Tonga, Chewa and Lozi. There are many that are farmers but much of the population are city residents in places such as Lusaka and Livingstone. There are many residents from British or South African backgrounds along with foreign residents from Asia and Europe. There are a large percentage of children in Zambia. The life expectancy for people in Zambia is around 50 years. Illiteracy is a problem outside of major cities and into the bush areas.
It has been observed that the people of Zambia are perhaps the most friendly of all African nations. Currently Zambia is struggling with high rates of infections from HIV. Some estimates say that over 30% of the population is HIV+. The tropical diseases found in Zambia, such as malaria, TB, cholera, and dysentery, further complicate the HIV problem. Sadly, death is a very prominent reality to the population of Zambia. The people are very open, receptive and friendly to visitors. Zambians are very relaxed and laid back compared to the fast-paced Western culture.
The national religion is “Christian” as stated in its constitution but the country is a melting pot of many religious beliefs. Other religious beliefs do blend easily with Christianity forming many corrupt and false doctrines. Presbyterian, Catholic, Pentecostal, Seventh-Day Adventist and Jehovah’s Witnesses are just a few of the other religions beliefs that can be found in the country. Traditional beliefs such as animism and witchcraft account as the religion of many people that live in the bush areas. Many of these places have never once heard the gospel of Christ. God is working in this country as people continue to surrender to the call of missions and are sent to reach these people with the gospel. The country is currently open to the gospel but it is unknown what tomorrow may bring.