About country profiles

The country profiles are intended to provide some background and context for the descriptions of the churches. These profiles should be read in conjunction with those of the churches in the country.

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Surface area:30350 km2
GNI per capita:1431 US$
Classification:Least developed country





Christian: 91.00%

African traditional: 8.00%


Catholics: 900000

Protestants: 302560

Anglicans: 110000

Independent: 254060

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Lesotho came into being as a kingdom in the 19th century, when the Basotho leader Moshoeshoe I resisted the attacks of the Zulu empire. It became a British protectorate in 1864, at the request of the king, to avoid being taken over by the white Afrikaners. Called Basutoland, the kingdom recovered its independence in 1966 under the name Lesotho. It is a mountainous country, entirely surrounded by South Africa. From 1986 onwards, it was governed by the military who cooperated with apartheid South Africa and sent the king into exile. In 1993, it became a democratic constitutional monarchy. Economically, Lesotho has been dependent on the employment of its workforce in South Africa's mining industry. A local manufacturing industry is developing, compensating for the decrease of employment opportunities in the mines. The Catholic Church is the majority church in Lesotho, and is a member of the Christian Council, which is the ecumenical body. Besides the Lesotho Evangelical Church, which is the largest Protestant church, other WCC members include two Methodist churches, which belong to the African Methodist Episcopal Church (USA) and the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, and the Anglicans who are part of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa. There are several African Instituted and Pentecostal churches.


Ecumenical Organizations and Councils

WCC member churches based in Lesotho

WCC member churches present in Lesotho

Note: The list of churches present in countries is still in development.

Last updated: 01/01/06