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Namibia

Welcome to Namibia, the country in Africa with the highest percentage of "Christians" (90%). Namibia is a large territory on the southwest coast of Africa bordered by South Africa on the south, by Botswana on the east, and Angola on the north. The narrow Caprivi Strip extends Namibia's boundaries to the Zambezi River and shares a short border with Zambia.

Team's Vision

In Namibia we see the mission working to strengthen the church, so that in all parts of Namibian society and beyond:
  • Christian people are discipled in growing churches under the authority of God’s Word and godly, well-trained leaders.
  • the church is proclaiming the Gospel to all.
  • the church is caring for those in need.

Country & Ministry Profile

Namibia has the highest percentage of “Christians” (90%) for any country in Africa. Unfortunately, liberal theology and indigenous cults have resulted in nominal commitment, much unholy living, and deep divisions within the church. AEF (now SIM) entered Namibia in the early 1970s, working with youth of the Herero people group in and around Windhoek. The Herero had been reached with the Gospel many decades earlier, but today are considered unevangelized. In 1981, AEF and the church began work among Angolan refugees along the northern border.

The Evangelical Bible Church (EBC) recently established a National EBC Council, making it a church for the whole of Namibia. Thus far the EBC is found mainly amongst the Herero, Luchazi, and Hambukushu people groups. Congregations are established from the border with Angola in the far north to the border with South Africa in the south. About 20 churches have been established in the north through the efforts of church evangelists with support from mission personnel. Other churches are at various stages of development. Missionaries are involved in theological training in the Namibian Evangelical Theological Seminary in Windhoek. There are also programs of Theological Education by Extension (TEE) in the Afrikaans and OtjiHerero languages.

Opportunities among young people are especially promising. Qualified missionary teachers have an open door to teach in government secondary schools. The tragedy of HIV & AIDS is devastating Namibia. The mission and church together are developing ministries to help those affected.

Namibia is part of the Region of Southern Africa (ROSA) administration.

Unreached People

The Damara, Nama, Mbukushu and San are considered partially reached. However, the demographic which SIM considers the most unreached by the message of Jesus' love and forgiveness is the emerging generation of youth.

History of Christianity

The Portuguese touched the coast of southwest Africa as early as 1485, but no sustained Catholic influence was felt until the end of the nineteenth century. Originally part of the prefecture of Cimbebasia in Portuguese Angola, the area south of the Angola border was designated a prefecture in its own right in 1892 and received its first Oblates of Mary Immaculate missionaries after 1896.

The nomadic Khoi-San in southwest Africa were first reached by the London Missionary Society (LMS) in 1805. At the request of LMS, the Rhenish Missionary Society (German Lutheran) arrived in 1842, followed by Finnish Lutherans in 1870.

In 1971 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in South West Africa (outgrowth of the Rhenish Society) and the Evangelical Lutheran Ovambokavango Church (related to the Finnish Lutheran Mission) came together to form the United Evangelical Church of Namibia. The Christian community of this federated church (over 300,000) formed 50% of the total population of Namibia in 1970.

Africa Evangelical Fellowship (AEF) entered Namibia in the early 1970s working with youth of the Herero people group in and around Windhoek. The Herero had been reached with the gospel many decades earlier, but today are considered unevangelized. In 1981, AEF and the church began work among Angolan refugees along the northern border. About the same time, AIM entered the country in a partnership agreement with AEF, and the joint team arrangement now defines the work of SIM and AIM in Namibia.

If you would like to be a part of what God is doing in Namibia, please contact your nearest SIM office.

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