The Basotho emerged from a cluster of tribes united under King Moshoeshoe I (Moo shway shway) during the early 1800’s. Moving south from the Transvaal region of South Africa, they settled in the Orange Free State. Then, they moved into a mountainous area, now known as The Kingdom of Lesotho. Lesotho is completely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa.
Lesotho has rugged and beautiful mountain ranges. They extend from five thousand feet in the western lowlands to more than eleven thousand feet in the majestic Maluti Mountains, which cover the majority of the country. People often call Lesotho, “The Roof of Africa.”
With few good roads, many areas are accessible only by horseback or light plane. Today, approximately 2.3 million Basotho live in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, while another 3 million live in South Africa. Lesotho is severely overpopulated in the lowlands. Life expectancy is around 52 years of age, and AIDS is lowering this age even more.
The traditional religion of the Basotho involves the worship of the balimo, the ancestor spirits. They believe that the departed ones can punish their living descendants for violating laws and customs of society. Ancestors can choose certain individuals to be their channels for communicating directly with the community by dreams and visions. The Basotho believe that ancestors can bring misfortune and illness upon the community if he disobeys the balimo.
More than 90% of the people claim to be Christians and most are Roman Catholic. However, many professing Christians mix traditional religious practices with Christianity. The Basotho are among the world’s unreached. Less than 2% have a true relationship with Jesus Christ and many have never heard his name.
Jim & Teresa
JB & Liz
- Stan & Angie
- Please pray for the Basotho people to come to a life-changing decision to follow Jesus Christ. Pray that followers will openly live for Him in the face of cultural and societal pressures to carry on old traditional beliefs and customs.
- Pray for the Basotho, because Lesotho ranks 3rd in the world with the highest HIV/AIDS infection rate.
- Please pray for the thousands of orphans left with no one to care for them.
- Pray for laborers to come and help take the STORY to the unreached of the lowlands and the inaccessible mountain villages.