Marathi in Kenya

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People Name: Marathi
Country: Kenya
10/40 Window: No
Population: 500
World Population: 110,800
Primary Language: Marathi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 2.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Marathi is actually a language that originated in what is now Maharashtra, a state in western India. Marathis migrated to Kenya from India in the late 1800s. They originally came as indentured workers to work in the construction of the Uganda railway. Once the construction of the railway was completed, many of the workers not only chose to stay in Africa, but they also sent for their families to join them. They settled in Nairobi where they had more privileges than local Africans.

Where Are they Located?

Marathi speakers live all over India, but also in Great Britain, the US, Canada, Australia, and just about any African country that was once a British colony, including Kenya. There are very few of them in Kenya today.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Their astute business acumen enabled them to set up thriving businesses. Their new found economic strength enabled them to wield political power as well. Even though they are well assimilated into Kenyan society through prolonged stay in the country, they still have very close ties to India. Marriage and other social ties only happen between members of their own community. This has ensured the strengthening of ties with their cultural and religious roots in India.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Marathi people in Kenya are mainly Hindu. Like most prosperous Hindu communities, religion is only a way to connect with their community and to gain favor with whatever spiritual forces control their lives.

What Are Their Needs?

Marathi people in Africa need spiritual hunger that will drive them to seek and find the abundant life offered by Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

Pray that the Marathis in Kenya will become part of God's kingdom as they experience the Savior.
Pray that their ability to make money and lead prosperous lives will not keep them from having the spiritual hunger it takes to seek and find Jesus Christ.
Pray for a Disciple-Making movement among Marathi people in Kenya that will spread throughout Africa.

Text Source:   Keith Carey