The Swahili people comprise various groups who share common culture, language, and religion. Initially, East African hunters intermarried with Cushite shepherds, then as other groups began to intermarry and influence these people, the Swahili culture and traits began to develop and spread throughout Africa and the Person Gulf. Swahili groups primarily live in East Africa and work as traders or in business.
The Swahili are predominantly Muslim, and Islam is a major part of all aspects of their daily lives. Each town has the mosque as its center point, and young boys go to Islamic schools. They also attend non-religious schools to get a Western-style education. Western interest is bringing many modern ideas and aspects to their society. Like many cultures with pre-Islamic religion, remnants of previous beliefs exist such as the belief in spirits, witches, and sorcerers.
Engagement // What's Happening Now
Africa’s Hope is working to make a resource available to African pastors called Muslim Ministry. The book is currently available in English, but they are working to make it available in Swahili. The purpose is to help train and equip pastors in East Africa to reach Swahili-speaking Muslims.
Sustainability // The Bigger Story
Across East Africa are thousands of Swahili groups, many of whom have not heard the gospel. AGWM Africa recognizes the great need for ministry in East Africa and in the article, “East Africa & Indian Ocean Basin,” it is stated “We need pioneers, church planters, children’s workers, trainers . . . just to name the basics; we need workers."
Partnership // Move Beyond
Please spend a few minutes in prayer for the following:
- Pray for spiritual freedom in the hearts of Swahili Muslims.
- Pray God will provide churches and workers with opportunities and ideas to reach Muslims in East Africa.
- Pray God will protect and empower Swahili Christians as they witness to their Muslim neighbors.
- Pray for Africa’s Hope as they work to resource pastors with the tools to reach Swahili communities.'
Info and photo source: Joshua Project