Swahili in United States


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The name Swahili literally means "coast," and is the name given to several people groups that share a common culture (Uswahili), language (Kiswahili), and religion (Islam). Thousands of years ago, groups of hunters inhabited the East African coast and intermarried with the Cushite shepherds there. By the second century, Bantu-speaking people from Northern Congo came to the area and intermarried with them. Subsequent groups of people migrating from other areas such as the Persian Gulf also joined these coastal people, adopting parts of their culture and language. Later, Indonesian, Hindi, and Portuguese traders settled on the coast. Soon, they too began adopting Swahili traits and became a part of the larger group. Since that time, groups of Swahili have migrated to different parts of the coast, forming their own dialects and cultural variations. The Swahili language has many different dialects. A number of its words were borrowed from Arabic, the second language for many Swahili. More recently, Africans have come to the U. S. seeking work, freedom, and a chance to start anew.


Where Are they Located?

Today, the Swahili are scattered along Eastern Africa and the Persian Gulf, from Saudi Arabia to Zambia. Though they are called "Swahili" by others, they prefer to be named according to their local settlements. A small number lives in the United States. Within the U. S., they are most likely to be found in NYC, Washington DC, Dallas Ft. Worth, or Atlanta.


What Are Their Lives Like?

In the United States, there is a discrepancy between the African-Americans who were brought as slaves centuries ago and more recent immigrants from Africa. The recent African immigrants, like the Swahili, are generally prosperous. They often own businesses. These new "African-Americans" are increasing in number and have been since the 2010s. African immigrants to the United States form their own cultural associations and hold cultural events in American urban centers. Since the Swahili people straddle many countries along the coast of East Africa, they do not fit in as well as Somalis or Ethiopians for example. They are most likely involved with Pan African events. If someone were going to lead them to Christ, they would probably be likely to attend churches that are culturally Pan African.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Nearly all of the Swahili profess to be Muslims; however, they have kept many of their traditional pre-Islamic beliefs and practices. For example, they believe in many spirits - both good and evil. They also believe in the supernatural power of witches and sorcerers. Those who have moved to Western cities are more likely to adhere to traditional Islam rather than African religion.


What Are Their Needs?

Although Christian resources are available in the Swahili language, there are only a small number of Swahili believers. Laborers who are sensitive to their Muslim culture are greatly needed to work among the Swahili. The United States has religious freedom, so it would be especially easy for someone to reach them there. Who will do it?


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Swahili in United States.

* Pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done among the Muslim Swahili people in the U. S. * Pray for a movement of Swahili households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ. * Pray for workers who are filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit to go to the Swahili people.* Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive a movement of the entire Swahili people to become His ambassadors in the United States.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-02-28
People Name General Swahili
People Name in Country Swahili
Population this Country 61,000
Population all Countries 1,809,000
Total Countries 25
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 5
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 5  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed
Alternate Names African Black; Arab-Swahili; Bantu; Baraawe; Barwaani; Black African; Central Swahili; Coastal; Coastal Swahili; Mrima; Shirazi; Siddi; Swahili Shamba; Urban; Zanzibari
People ID 15145
ROP3 Code 109644
Country United States
Region America, North and Caribbean
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country United States
Region America, North and Caribbean
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked

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Primary Language Swahili (61,000 speakers)
Language Code swh   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Swahili (61,000 speakers)
Language Code swh   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Swahili

Primary Language:  Swahili

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1868-1968)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1879-1989)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1890-2017)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Father's Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online New Testament - Interconfessional (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Love Story
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Swahili
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
Film / Video Walk with Jesus (Africa, JF Project)
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Got Questions Ministry
General Walk with the Prophets and meet the Messiah
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file from FCBH
Text / Printed Matter Bible Gateway Scripture
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Comic Book Version (SuperBible)
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 12.00 %)
25.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
75.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
Unknown
Independent
Unknown
Orthodox
Unknown
Other Christian
Unknown
Protestant
Unknown
Roman Catholic
Unknown
Photo Source Luciano Rizzello - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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