Judicaël Anicet Liade
Nestled in the crook of the West African coast, Côte d’Ivoire is a small nation with considerable economic clout. Islamic rule dominated the country for centuries before European colonization in the mid-19th century. Controlled by the French for more than 200 years, the country gained independence in 1960 and quickly established itself as an economic standout among other newly-autonomous African nations. In the latter half of the century, the country established itself as the continent’s leading producer of cocoa, pineapples, palm oil, and rubber.
Former colonizers and neighboring countries refer to the post-independence economic success of the nation as “The Ivorian Miracle.” Today the country is responsible for 40% of the region’s GDP, a strong economy posing an ironic contrast with significant religious and political tensions.
Haggai leader Judicaël Anicet Liade is uniquely positioned to serve this nation. A senior official with the Ministry of Economy and Finances, he uses his platform to bring the hope of the Gospel to a country plagued with violence and political unrest, including Islamic terrorism and political corruption.
Judicaël attended the Haggai Leader Experience in 2016. While in Maui he learned of a deadly Islamic terrorist attack in his home country; the shocking event gave him an urgent motivation to share the Gospel at home.
“I still remember the terrorist attack of March 2016 that hit my country. I was at the Haggai international center of Maui. I really appreciated the compassion of the Haggai brothers… As soon as I came back, I realized that I could not do everything alone. So I trained about fifty people according to their call to serve God, and I put them in teams [to help share the Gospel].”
Leveraging this group of fifty leaders, Judicaël opened a dozen prayer cells and Bible studies across the capital city of Abidjan. Each group has organized street ministry efforts, and one group regularly ministers to a school with more than 8,000 students. Other activities of the cell groups include hospital ministry, prison ministry and the construction of a brand-new church. Under Judicaël’s leadership, the group has preached the Gospel to more than 10,000 people since 2016.
The Ivory Coast is a majority-Muslim nation, with folk traditions and animism dotting the religious landscape. Though about a third of those in the country identify as Christian, the country’s divided religious climate presents considerable challenges to sharing the Gospel. Judicaël himself grew up in an animist household until his mother converted to Christianity and began taking the family to church.
“Because we are in an area where black magic and witchcraft are developed, we encounter real spiritual oppositions to the realization of our evangelistic programs and extremely dangerous spiritual attacks.”
Yet Judicaël is confident that even after a recent controversial election, there is hope for Gospel-fueled reconciliation and transformation in Côte d’Ivoire.
“Christians are currently organizing many fasting and prayer gatherings for the peace of the nation. Several Haggai leaders play important roles in terms of raising awareness of [various] issues, through their positioning at strategic points within the Church and in Ivorian society.”