Sao Tome and Principe


Capital: Tomé, 60,000


Population: (2012 est.): 183,176

People Groups:

  • Mestico, or mixed-blood, descendants of African slaves brought to the islands during the early years of settlement from Benin, Gabon, and Congo (these people also are known as filhos da terra or “sons of the land”);

  • Angolares, reputedly descendants of Angolan slaves who survived a 1540 shipwreck and now earn their livelihood fishing;

  • Forros, descendants of freed slaves when slavery was abolished;

  • Servicais, contract laborers from Angola, Mozambique, and Cape Verde, living temporarily on the islands;

  • Tongas, children of servicais born on the islands; and

  • Europeans, primarily Portuguese. (most left in 1975)

Languages: Portuguese

Religions: 80% Roman Catholic (75 %), Evangelical Protestant, or Seventh-day Adventist Churches, New Apostolic, which in turn retain close ties with churches in Portugal. 20% no religion.


Government: Republic

Executive— President.

Legislative— Prime Minister and Cabinet of 14 appointed by PM

Judicial Supreme court


History: Discovered, colonized and ruled by Portguese in 15th century until the fall of Portuguese dictator Salazar in 1974. Originally a major sugar producer, this declined to be replaced by cocoa. This was grown under horrific labour condition of slavery and forced labour which led to a boycott by several countries. Sporadic labor unrest and dissatisfaction continued well into the 20th century, culminating in an outbreak of riots in 1953 in which several hundred African laborers were killed in a clash with their Portuguese rulers. This “Batepa Massacre” remains a major event in the colonial history of the islands, and the government officially observes its anniversary.


Living Conditions: Cocoa is a major export but oil is the main source of national income giving a GDP/capita of $2000. Life expectancy at birth is 65. Infant mortality 51.83 deaths/1,000 live births. Human rights record is good with political freedom and free press.


Pray for:

  • Entry into mainly Catholic population.

  • Identity of Men of Peace.

  • Victory over bitterness and spiritual effects of past brutality and Batepa Massacre.

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