Political troubles and conflict plague this land. Many thought political freedom had arrived with the conclusive defeat of Marxist rhetoric and the ending of civil strife in 2002. The victor of the 2002 and 2006 presidential elections was concerned for the poor but criticized for his autocratic style. He was forced to resign in 2009 after his rival, the capital’s mayor, orchestrated street demonstrations and the necessary military backing to seize the presidency. Widespread political condemnation of this move from most of the EU, the African Union and the UN, demonstrates Madagascar’s continued democratic fragility and vulnerability to military intervention. Pray for leadership that will serve the people with humility and transparency, not seeking power for its own ends.
The Protestant Churches have a glorious history of faith despite their persecution by heathen rulers and harassment by the French Catholic colonial authorities. It grew from 5,000 in 1861 to one million in 1900. There have been significant revival movements within the larger churches in 1895, 1941, 1948, and during the 1980s. Springing from the revivals, movements of indigenous lay “shepherds” are operating within the mainline churches. Their emphasis on healing and exorcism – which relate strongly to the spiritist mentality – has led to conversions and full churches in some areas. Pray that this movement might continue to grow and be rooted in Scripture.