Photo Source: Luciano Rizzello - Flickr Creative Commons
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|Christian Adherents:||3.00 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|People Cluster:||Bantu, Swahili|
|Affinity Bloc:||Sub-Saharan Peoples|
Thousands of years ago, groups of hunters inhabited the East African coast and intermarried with Cushite shepherds. 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 name Swahili literally means "coast," and is the name for various people groups that share a common culture (Uswahili), language (Kiswahili), and religion (Islam).
Today, the Swahili are scattered along Eastern Africa and the Persian Gulf, from Saudi Arabia to Zambia. A small number have migrated to other parts of the world like Europe, New Zealand and Australia.
Since the Swahili are predominantly Muslim, Islamic practices play a large role in their daily activities. Dietary laws, rules of dress, social etiquette, marriage ceremonies, laws concerning divorce, and rituals at birth and death are all governed by Islamic tradition. Parents strive to have well-mannered, respectful children, since this is highly valued among East African Muslims. Boys go to Islamic schools where they study the Koran.
Though they are Sunni Muslim, they still practice many traditional pre-Islamic beliefs. For example, they believe in the existence of many good and evil spirits, so they act accordingly. They also believe in the supernatural power of witches and sorcerers. Most believe that Allah is too distant to protect them from the spirit world.
The small number of Swahili people in Australia need the spiritual hunger to seek and find the only Savior.
Ask God to raise up prayer teams to break up the soil through worship and intercession. Pray for spiritual hunger among the Swahili people in Australia. Ask God to raise up Christian businessmen in Australia who will boldly share Christ with the Swahili. Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Swahili in Australia and beyond.