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Arab, Kenyan in Kenya

Arab, Kenyan

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
52,000 Swahili Islam 1.00 % 0.20 %   

Arab, Kenyan in Kenya

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Introduction / History
The Arabs are one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic groups in the world. Throughout Africa, Arabs are subdivided into thousands of ethnic groups and subgroups. These classifications are based primarily on geographical location, variations in their Islamic beliefs, and the Arabic dialect they speak.

The Coastal Arabs live along the coasts of Tanzania and Kenya, East Africa, in an area commonly known as the Coastal Belt. They are concentrated in some of the ancient settlements along the coast and in cities such as Dar es Salaam. They can also be found in major urban centers throughout Kenya's Lamu Islands. The Coastal Arabs speak Arabiya, or Coast Arabic, which is an Arabic dialect belonging to the Afro-Asiatic language family. They also speak the regional language, Swahili.

The Coastal Arabs refer to their ancestors as the "old" or "true" Arabs. Though their culture is still very similar to that of the first Arabs (desert nomads or Bedouins), their traditions have died down to some extent.

What are their lives like?
Like most other Arabs around the world, the Coastal Arabs are not entirely nomadic and they do not live in the desert. Rather, their lifestyle is suited to the environment in which they live. Most of the Coastal Arabs live in rural villages. They are primarily farmers and fishermen, although some who live in the cities may have other professions. The farmers grow cereal grains, vegetables, cotton, and raise livestock. Some may Others have special skills as carpenters, barbers, or religious leaders; a few have become teachers or doctors. Still, there are some who are nomads, traveling from place to place with their herds.

Coastal Arab villages consist of tiny houses that are situated closely together. The nature of the villages reflects the closeness of the families. The homes typically have dirt floors and are built with local products, generally mud brick. Family honor is very important, and each family member has a defined role according to Arab tradition. The family unit provides security during times of economic hardship and in old age. When young people leave their villages to find jobs in the towns or cities, the family socio-economic system is often weakened.

Children are considered a great asset to the villages, since they are the future work force. They also provide social security for their parents and grandparents. The birth of children, especially boys, is cause for great celebration among the Coastal Arabs. As soon as a baby is born, the name "Allah" is whispered in its ear so that this will be the first word the child hears.

Boys and girls are raised together during early childhood; however, they receive very different treatment. Boys are shown much affection and are pampered by their mothers, while girls, though shown affection, are not pampered. The father is a stern disciplinarian to both his sons and daughters. At a very early age, boys are taken to the fields with their fathers and older brothers to help with the farming. The young boys are also taught to obey and respect older males. Girls stay at home to help their mothers cook and care for the younger children.

Among the Coastal Arabs, marriages take place as a way to continue a family lineage or as a means of meeting a family's needs. Since marriage is viewed as the union of two families rather than the union of two people, couples work hard to make their marriages successful. As a result, divorce is very rare. The Coastal Arabs tend to marry other Coastal Arabs and possibly Somalian Arabs, because they are proud of their heritage and desire to remain a closed group. Although polygyny (having multiple wives) is accepted by Muslim Arabs, it is generally practiced by only the wealthier men whose first wives are barren, or those who desire to establish new family ties.

What are their beliefs?
Coastal Arabs are virtually all Muslim. Many follow the teachings of the Koran because it provides hope for a better life after death. Like other Muslims, Coastal Arabs adhere to the five "pillars" of Islam. These include reciting prayers five times a day while facing Mecca, affirming that Allah is the only god and Mohammed is his prophet, observing the prescribed fasts, giving alms to the poor, and making at least one pilgrimage to Mecca.

The mosque is the center of Islamic worship. Men regularly attend the mosque for prayer services, but women rarely attend. While men worship at the mosques, women usually attend ceremonies conducted at home by female religious leaders.

In addition to their Islamic beliefs, some of the Coastal Arabs also believe in spirits. They try to appease these spirits during times of crisis or sickness. Magic is also practiced by many Coastal Arabs.

What are their needs?
Because of their strong adherence to Islam, Coastal Arabs have been reluctant to accept Christianity. Christian resources and missions efforts are needed. However, prayer is the first step towards seeing Coastal Arabs reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord to raise up missionaries who will go to East Africa and share Christ with this group.
* Pray that African believers will be compelled to take the Gospel to their unreached neighbors.
* Pray that God will call forth intercessors who will faithfully stand in the gap for these precious people.
* Pray that the Holy Spirit will anoint the efforts of missions agencies that are currently focusing on the Coastal Arabs.
* Ask the Lord to create a hunger within the hearts of Coastal Arabs to know God in a personal way.
* Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Coastal Arabs of Tanzania and Kenya.

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Country: Kenya
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, East and Southern
Persecution Rank:40 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Lamu and Garissa counties: Somali border toTana river mouth, along coast and inland.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
   
 
Maps
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
 
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Arab, Kenyan
People Name General: Arab
Alternate People Names:
Anglolan ArabsBaggara
Bedouin ArabBosnian Muslims
ChavusCoast
Coast ArabHemat
Iraqi ArabLebanese Arab
Levantine ArabNawar
Palestinian ArabPalestinian Arabs
Saudi ArabSyrian Arab
ROP3 Code: 100425
Joshua Project People ID: 10375
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 52,000
Population all Countries: 409,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
People Cluster: Arab, Arabian
People Name General: Arab
Ethnic Code: CMT30
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Swahili (52,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): swh    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity1.00 %(Evangelical: 0.20 %)
Ethnic Religions5.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam94.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant60.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic40.00 %
 
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
   
 
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1868-1968
New Testament:
1879-1989Audio
Complete Bible: 1891-2009
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
 
 
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsFather's Love Letter
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament - Interconfessional ...
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoGod's Love Story
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Swahili
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Film / VideoWalk with Jesus (Africa, JF Project)
GeneralBible Visuals
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGod's Simple Plan
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterBible Gateway Scripture
Text / Printed MatterBible: Swahili Union Version
Text / Printed MatterBible: Swahili, Common Language Bible
Text / Printed MatterBible: Swahili, Common Language Bible wi ...
Text / Printed MatterCartoon Gospel tract
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterInternational Bible Society
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
 
 
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources
 
 

Arab, Kenyan in Kenya

Peoples
               
Geographic
Global                 Global
           
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    Arab, Arabian     Africa, East and Southern    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Arab Kenya    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Arab, Kenyan in Kenya          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Swahili  
    Global    
Language
 
    All Religions                              
   
Religion
                             

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