Daily Topic for January 08, 2010
The Swahili-speaking Muslims of East Africa have had some knowledge of a God of Creation for many centuries. However, they have always rejected the obvious that such a Holy God cannot allow sinful man into His kingdom. They have spent centuries living under the rules of Islam, hoping that their good deeds will outweigh their bad ones. Without Christ’s payment for sin, they have no hope for forgiveness.
Pray that this year, Swahili Muslim leaders in Tanzania will discern that they must seek out the only Savior who can fill in the gap between Holy God and sinful man.
Swahili can refer to both an ethnic group and to Swahili-speaking people. It is one of Tanzania’s official languages, but not all of its inhabitants are ethnic Swahilis. The name, Swahili, means coastal dwellers, and is the name given to several people groups along the east coast of Africa. Originally Swahilis were mainly composed of Bantu-speaking people, but because of their coastal dwellings and trade with people of the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf, they have been influenced by, and in some cases, have intermarried with Arabic people.
Swahilis historically have been a merchant class, trading spices, slaves, ivory, gold, and grain. They are mainly urban dwellers who adhere to a literate, Islamic civilization. As coastal merchants, the Swahilis face toward Africa and toward Arabia and Asia. Their culture has observed very strict Muslim practices, especially with the seclusion of women and the religious schools for boys. However, the Swahilis have recently demonstrated an interest in Western culture. For Instance, in addition to attending Islamic schools, most children also attend non-religious schools to acquire a Western-style education. Also, modern medicine is now replacing traditional folk remedies. Opening up to Western culture may provide an opportunity for Swahilis to hear the gospel message.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray that the Swahili Muslim culture will soon embrace the Savior. Pray for believing teachers and health professionals to set up schools and ministries among the Swahilis.