Just over half of the population of Chad is Muslim, with Christians comprising a sizeable minority of around a third. Islam is dominant in the north, while most southerners practise Christianity or indigenous religions. Over the last three decades, Islam has extended its influence into the south; increasing numbers of Muslims are found there, with mosques and Muslim schools in predominantly Christian areas to serve them.
Chad is made up of many ethnic groups, and there is a constant threat of conflict between rebel groups and the government.
Despite being only a slight majority in Chad, Muslims are dominant politically and economically, leaving Christians marginalised. In a country where corruption is rife, where 80% of people live below the poverty line and where droughts can be severe, the Christian community is in need of practical help.
Foreign Islamic groups and nations are backing a number of Islamist movements in Chad, and membership of these more extreme Islamic groups is growing. The Church needs support and training to reach out to Muslim communities and to withstand Islamisation.
The country is a secular state, and the constitution and other laws protect religious freedom. Chad is one of the very few Muslim-majority countries where Christian workers are welcome and evangelism is not restricted. However, there are occasional tensions between Christians and Muslims.