Arab, Palestinian in Guatemala

Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Arab, Palestinian
Country: Guatemala
10/40 Window: No
Population: 1,600
World Population: 11,592,800
Primary Language: Arabic, Levantine
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 30.00 %
Evangelicals: 4.00 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Arab, Levant
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Palestinian Arabs fall into a category classified as Levant Arabs. "Levant" is a broad term that includes several groups of Arabs: the Jordanian, Palestinian, Iraqi, Chaldean and Syrian Arabs. Today, several hundred thousand Levant Arabs live along the northern edges of the Arabian Desert. They are spread from Israel to Kuwait and as far east as Iran. Small groups can also be found in North Africa. Others live in the US, Canada or even many Latin American countries like Guatemala.
The Palestinian Arabs have had a close association with Islam throughout their history and today, most are Muslims. However, there has long been a sizable contingent of committed Christians among the Palestinian Arabs. Palestinian Arabs speak an Arabic language called Mashriqi, with various local dialects.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Palestinian Arabs in Guatemala have risen above the ordeals they faced, and hold good jobs as businessmen, etc. Some are dealing with the traumas of war. Newer migrants must learn a new language and culture.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Palestinian Arabs are Muslims. Islam is a religion of works that is based on five basic "pillars" which are (1) A Muslim must affirm that "there is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet;" (2) He must pray five times a day while facing Mecca; (3) He must give generously; (4) He must fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year; and (5) He must try to make at least one pilgrimage to Mecca in his lifetime.
There is a high percentage of Christians among Palestinian Arabs in Guatemala.

What Are Their Needs?

Like most immigrant groups, there is conflict between the first and second generations. Those who came from the old country want their children to conform to the old culture. There is often a backlash from younger Palestinian Arabs who want to fully integrate into Guatemalan society, marry for love, etc.

Prayer Points

Ask God to give Palestinian Arab believers opportunities to share the love of Christ with others, in Guatemala and beyond.
Pray that their traditional Muslim culture will soften, creating open doors for the gospel to be preached among them.
Pray for spiritual hunger among the Palestinian Arabs in Guatemala.

Text Source:   Joshua Project