The Rashaida are a nomadic people group that emigrated from Saudi Arabia 170 years ago. Today, they can be found living in different areas along the Red Sea coastline across the East African and Indian Ocean Basin region. 

The Rashaida people tend to live secluded lives in isolation from other people groups and tribes. Women typically wear colorful veils over their faces, depicted in the photo above. From a young age, girls begin wearing the veil so that only their husbands have the honor of viewing their faces. 

At its core, the Rashaida culture is deeply rooted in Islam. Due to their nomadic and isolated lifestyle, there are very few known Christians in this people group.  

Engagement // What's Happening Now 

The region is divided between Christianity and Islam. This religious divide has led to strong cultural and personal animosity throughout the region. For people like the Rashaida, conversion can seem impossible, but with our God nothing is impossible. God is speaking to Muslims in East Africa through dreams and visions. The Holy Spirit is stirring in their hearts and we pray that more and more people continue to respond and give their lives to Him. 

Sustainability // The Bigger Story

The journal “Live Dead Africa” shares that the Rashaida are the “bad boys” of the Arab world. Due to their business of trading, they involve themselves in smuggling and trafficking. Even so, there are no known Christians among the Rashaida, and prayer is important for change to occur. Prayer is needed for workers and church planters seeking to build a Christian community among the Rashaida.

Partnership // Move Beyond

Please spend a few minutes in prayer for the following: 

  • Ask God to continue to call the Rashaida—whether by visions, dreams, or other Christians—pray that they will respond to His calling and know His love.
  • Pray for Christians in this region that they will be compelled to witness to their Muslim neighbors.
  • Pray for those who are called to minister to the Rashaida. Pray for open doors and opportunities to plant churches and minister in this region.

Info and photo source: Joshua Project