Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa
The Lesotho Evangelical Church is one of Africa's oldest Protestant churches, founded in 1833 by missionaries from the Paris Evangelical Mission society. It is Lesotho's oldest denomination and today it has 261,350 members in 112 congregations. It also maintains 563 schools. Lesotho is 96% Christian. The LEC-sponsored schools have contributed to the 83 percent literacy rate nationwide. Global Ministries' relationship to LEC began in 1983.
Lesotho is a country about the size of the state of Maryland with a population of 2.17 million inhabitants. With half the population below the poverty line, a 45 percent unemployment rate, and with 35 percent of active male wage earners away from home working in neighboring South Africa, Lesotho faces many economic challenges.