In the 1450s the kingdom of Portugal discovered these uninhabited islands off the west coast of Africa. The islands were colonized and used mainly as a slave trading hub for many years. Cape Verde was granted independence on July 5, 1975. Today, the population—just over half a million—has a mixed European and African heritage. Cape Verde is one of five Portuguese-speaking African nations.
Cape Verde consists of 10 islands with a total land area slightly larger than Rhode Island. Cape Verde lacks natural resources, and the islands are very dry so agriculture is minimal. In the 1990s a series of droughts drove many Cape Verdeans to other parts of the world to find provisions. Even today about a quarter of their economy is based on remittances sent by family members abroad.
Because of the many years of Portugal's rule, Cape Verde is predominantly Catholic. The Mormans have a strong presence with about 60 missionaries among the islands. Other prominent groups include Nazarenes, Pentecostals, and a small but growing number of Muslims. If you mix in the African Spiritism that is woven in these false belief systems, you begin to understand a little of the spiritual confusion and darkness in Cape Verde.
Cape Verde’s location and connection to Portuguese-speaking Africa make it a strategic place to reach with the Gospel. The doors are wide open for church planting in Cape Verde and the potential is great. Pray that God would do a great work among the Cape Verdean people.