The Overseas Department of Mayotte in Africa is composed of one large island, Grande Terre, and one smaller island, Petite Terre. The total area is 373 square kilometers. It is located in the Indian Ocean off the island of Madagascar. The Capital is Mamoudzou.
The population is over 300,000. The people are called Maore, who make up 90% of the population. The other 10% consists of a mix of Malagasy, Creole, Bantu, immigrants from Rwanda and Mozambique, French, and Arabs. Illegal immigrants account for up to 30% of the current population.
Literacy is between 32% and 58%. The official languages are French, Shimaore (a Bantu language), and Shibushi (a Malagasay language).
Mayotte is more prosperous than the rest of the region, through the military base and French aid, but this aid has dramatically reduced local initiative and entrepreneurship. Agriculture, in the form of subsistence farming, has declined greatly. Almost everything is imported from abroad, making the cost of living very high.
Mayotte was ceded by Madagascar, along with the Comoros Islands, in 1843 to France. In 1974 and again in 1976, Mayotte voted to forgo independence as part of the Comoros Islands and remain with France. Mayotte voted to become a French Departmental Collectivity in 2000 and in 2009 to become a French overseas department of France, which qualifies it for EU funding.
Almost all Maores are Sunni Muslim (97.86%), but mosque attendance is low. Almost all Christians (1.64%) are non-indigenous and from other Franco-phone countries. Although there is religious freedom, and direct, open-air evangelism is permitted, response has been very slow, and most converts have returned to Islam. The name “Mayotte” means “place of death.” Clearly, prayers are needed for the people of this area to lift them up to the Good News.
Let us pray. Gracious God, we put before You the islands of Mayotte. We praise You for its prosperity, and we are glad for the freedom of religion there. However, we have concern for the spiritual lives of the people, most of whom do not know Jesus Christ. We pray that the seed of Christianity, which has been planted, will grow mightily and create a breakthrough so that the islands may assume a different name reflecting a “place of life.” We ask that You will raise up strong leaders, open minds, unity among the three evangelical churches in Mayotte, and more laborers for long-term ministry. We pray for Bible translation for all languages, for continuing gospel broadcasts from local FM stations, and the proliferation of other Christian media. We ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.