Population: 4.2 million (2011)
Official language: French
Major religion: Christianity
IFES movement: Groupes Bibliques Universitaires et Scolaires du Congo (GBUSC)
Congo ensures secularism in schools and universities but Christians have freedom of faith. There is a high rate of unemployment and the cost of living is rising. Many political and business leaders belong to the Freemasons, a semi-religious society, and the prospect of economic and social progression offered by joining this group puts real pressure on Christians.
- 1 major national university with a GBUSC group; a dozen or so private institutions where the movement is weakly represented
- 5 part-time staff, 3 part-time volunteers
- graduate ministry: around 100 people
- high school ministry: around 40 students
- largest group in Brazzaville (46 students)
- smallest in Pointe Noire (10 students)
The GBUSC has strived to encourage students to take the lead in the ministry and they thank God that this is now a reality: students have a shared God-given vision and are taking initiatives to move the movement forward. This progress has been underpinned by the faithful and wise support of graduates and churches.
View from the inside
Dieudonné Akoulbout, the Board Chair of the GBUSC, says, ‘I became a Christian myself through this ministry, which then mentored, taught and trained me. I want to see Christians in the decision-making bodies of my country. Sects and other religions have already been making a considerable effort to be a presence in this area and I think that Christians have been worryingly left behind’.
Dieudonné is inspired by 1 Timothy 4:15: ‘Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.’ He is also motivated by the example of the first General Secretary of the GBUSC, who gave up everything to serve the movement.
- for Christian students to be well-discipled and strong in their faith;
- for some of these students to go on to be salt and light in the political and economic spheres in Congo;
- management and training of new group members ;
- preparations for the conference that will take place in 2015.