The Republic of Chad is a landlocked country in central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west. Chad is divided into three major geographical regions: a desert zone in the north, an arid Sahelian belt in the centre and a more fertile Sudanese savanna zone in the south. Lake Chad, after which the country is named, is the largest wetland in Chad and the second largest in Africa.
Chad is home to over 200 different ethnic and linguistic groups. About half of the nation's population lives in the southern fifth of its territory. In 2005 one-quarter of the population lived in urban areas, with the vast majority of those living in the capital city, N'Djamena. The 1993 census found that 54% of Chadians were Muslim, 20% Roman Catholic, 14% Protestant, 10% animist, and 3% atheist. Most Christians live in the south.
French and Swiss Mennonite missionaries began work in Chad in the early 1950s under the Europäisches Mennonitisches Evangelisationskomitee (EMEK; European Mennonite Evangelization Committee) and Sudan United Mission (SUM). They work with the Église Evangélique au Tchad (Evangelical Church of Chad) in cooperation with three other, non-Mennonite, mission boards. Mennonite missionaries have taught Bible and theology; taught high school courses; and have worked as medical personnel, Bible translators, evangelists, and maintenance personnel. In 1986 EMEK and SUM were sponsoring a Bible and theology teacher, a rural development worker, an evangelist, and two nurses in Chad. By 1986 Mennonite missionaries had not established a Mennonite church nor emphasized Anabaptist theology in particular.
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) became involved in 1973, but stopped working temporarily from March 1980 to August 1982 during the worst of the civil war. In 1986 nine MCC workers in Chad were engaged in rural communities through agriculture, health classes, and water resources activities.
Reports in Christ Seul; Gemeinde Unterwegs; Brücke; Mennonitische Blatter; Zionspilger.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 133. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Foxall, Justine F. and Richard D. Thiessen. "Chad." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. October 2008. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C46014.html.
APA style: Foxall, Justine F. and Richard D. Thiessen. (October 2008). Chad. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C46014.html.