Welcome to Guinea, one of the least evangelized countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Because of their Marxist policies and pro-Islamic stance, past leaders frequently persecuted the church, but today there is a new sense of freedom for the work of sharing Jesus' life and love in this nation.
Team's VisionBy faith, we see a vibrant Maninka church reaching out to Upper Guinea and beyond.
Country & Ministry Profile
Guinea, a former French colony that was devastated by a corrupt Marxist regime until 1984, is now struggling to find stability. Despite its natural resources, its people are living in poverty. Guinea is one of the least evangelized countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Officially, Guinea now enjoys religious liberty.
SIM missionaries are concentrating their efforts among the Muslim Maninka, the second largest people group in Guinea, centered in the city of Kankan. The Maninka work primarily as farmers, miners, or merchants. The society is patriarchal, men commonly have more than one wife, and each village is ruled by a chief. It is said that to be Maninka is to be Muslim. Although very religious, most people know little about their religion.
Hot climate and distance from the conveniences found in the capital city make life a challenge on top of the opposition—both covert and overt—from dominant religious leaders. Fears of reprisal and rejection hold Muslims back from public commitments to Christ.
Relationships, which require some mastery of the Maninka language, are the key to evangelism in this culture. Some of the ministry tools in use are evangelistic and Scripture portion cassette tapes and a Community Health Evangelism (CHE) program in villages. CHE addresses the reality of AIDS with preventive education and, more importantly, calls the people to life changes based on a commitment to Christ. SIM missionaries are also partnering with Pioneer Bible Translators to produce the Bible in Maninka and to develop a literacy program.
Guinea is part of the Western Africa Area (WAFA).
Unreached PeopleThe largest unreached people groups in Guinea are the Fulani, the Maninka, and the Susu, all of whom are Muslim. We invite you to discover the world of the nomadic Fulani people.
History of Christianity
Missions did not come to Guinea until French Catholics arrived in 1877. Portuguese Catholics had tried to establish missions earlier, but attempts were not vigorous. Catholic work progressed slowly, but by 1965, the work had produced over 26,000 followers. Most leadership was still in the hands of foreign missionaries at this time. When all foreign missionaries were expelled in 1967, only eight Guinean priests remained to carry on the work. Growth continued amidst serious persecution, and by the mid-1980s the church had over 55,000 followers.
Protestant missions began in 1918 when the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) entered the country. Other missions entered in the ensuing years but were expelled without exception in 1967. Only eight C&MA personnel were allowed to remain, and their activities were restricted. As a child, Sekou Touré had positive contact with the C&MA which influenced the decision to allow the mission to remain. Mission Philafricaine, a medical center for treatment of TB, leprosy and other diseases, was the only other missionary ministry allowed to enter Guinea during this period until the change of government in 1984.
New thrusts into the country have been possible as the new government opened its doors to missions. The C&MA was asked to assist the government in screening mission agencies that enter the country. This led to the entry of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) working among the Fulani, followed by French Assemblies of God working in Conakry, World Evangelistic Crusade (WEC) working among the Susu, and SIM.
These mission bodies, along with C&MA and Mission Philafricaine, have formed the Association of Evangelical Churches and Missions in Guinea. This association provides unity among evangelical societies and a common presentation of Protestant missions to the government of Guinea. Its membership has grown to include Campus Crusade for Christ, the Southern Baptist Mission, Pioneer Bible Translations, New Tribes Mission, and the Dutch Reformed Mission. As of 1995, each mission agency deals directly with the government.
The State ChurchThere is no state church under government sponsorship.
If you would like to be a part of what God is doing in Guinea, please contact your nearest SIM office.
SIM-RelatedDavid and Katie Hayward
Please Pray for: