Safwa in Tanzania

Photo Source:  IITA - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Safwa
Country: Tanzania
10/40 Window: No
Population: 495,000
World Population: 495,000
Primary Language: Safwa
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 5.00 %
Evangelicals: 2.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Bantu, Central-Tanzania
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Safwa (pronounced SAH-fwah) people live in the Mbeya Region of southwestern Tanzania. The city of Mbeya is at the center of their traditional homeland, but most Safwa have fled urbanization. They are concentrated, instead, in villages around the city of Mbeya and extending out some 30 miles into the surrounding mountains and valleys.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Safwa people in Tanzania are farmers who also herd livestock.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Many Safwa villages have little or no effective evangelical witness. It is estimated that as many as 80 percent of the Safwa people are devout followers of African traditional religion or no religion at all. They serve spirits that can only harm them by making offerings at sacred groves.

As a whole, the Safwa are characterized as "resistant" to the gospel. There are evangelical churches in Safwa villages, but many are filled with people of other groups who have moved into Safwa areas. There is an effort to translate scripture into their language.

What Are Their Needs?

Alcoholism is a big problem among the Safwa, as it is among many people groups. They sometimes kill one of two twins that are born through starvation.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers to the Safwa people.
Pray that the Safwa people will have a spiritual hunger that will open their hearts to the King of kings.
Pray for workers who are driven by the love and boldness of the Holy Spirit to go to them.
Pray for a movement to Christ among them to begin this decade.

Text Source:   Joshua Project