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Afar in Ethiopia

Afar

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Afar in Ethiopia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
1,909,000 Afar Islam 0.90 % 0.08 % No   

Afar in Ethiopia

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Introduction / History
The Afar (Danakil) claim to be descendants of Ham (Noah's son). They are located in the East African countries of Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. They prefer to be known as the Afar, since the Arabic word "danakil" is an offensive term to them. They are a proud people, emphasizing a man's strength and bravery. Prestige comes from killing one's enemies.

The Afar consist of two subgroups: the Asaemara ("red ones"), who are the more prestigious and powerful nobles living primarily in the area of Assayita; and the Adaemara ("white ones"), who are the commoners living in the desert areas. Those who live in the desert inhabit one of the most rugged regions in the world, known as the Afar Plain or the Danakil Desert. One area, called the Danakil Depression, consists of a vast plain of salt pans and active volcanoes. Much of it lies 200 feet below sea level and has daily temperatures as high as 125 degrees F. The average yearly rainfall is less than seven inches.

What are their lives like?
Most of the Afar are nomads who herd sheep, goats, cattle, and camels. A man's wealth is measured by the size of his herds.

Not all of the Afar are herdsmen. Many of those who work in the Danakil Depression pry loose slabs of solid salt during the dry season, supplying ready-to-use salt in the form of crude blocks. Some of them live in apartment buildings in the country's capitol city, Addis Ababa. They remain there year round and work in government jobs such as the Afar broadcasts of the Ethiopian radio station.

Although some Muslims are permitted to have four wives, Afar marriages are usually monogamous. Girls may marry as early as age ten. Marriages between first cousins are preferred, particularly between a man and his father's sister's daughter. The night of the full moon is favored for a wedding ceremony, and the presence of someone able to read the Koran is required.

Meat and milk are the major components of the Afar diet. Milk is also an important social "offering". For instance, when a guest is given fresh warm milk to drink, the host is implying that he will provide immediate protection for the guest. If a person is killed while under the protection of an Afar, his death must be avenged as if he were a member of the clan.

The Afar live in camps surrounded by thorn barricades, which protect them from the attacks of wild animals or enemy tribesmen. Their oval-shaped huts, called ari, are made of palm mats and are easily moved.

What are their beliefs?
Early in their history, the Afar were heavily influenced by the Islamic religion; and today, Islam is still held in great esteem. The people do not eat pork and rarely drink alcohol. Those who can afford to do so, make a pilgrimage to Mecca. In addition, many pre-Islamic beliefs and customs are also prevalent among the Afar. They believe that certain trees and groves have sacred powers. They also have various religious rites such as anointing their bodies with ghee (a type of butter). Spirits of the dead are believed to be very powerful, and a "feast of the dead", called Rabena, is celebrated each year. They also give annual offerings to the sea to ensure safety for their villages. Many people wear protective leather amulets that contain herbs and verses from the Koran.

What are their needs?
Because the Afar are a proud, independent people, they have had a very turbulent history. In recent times, the government has built houses with kitchens and bathrooms - luxuries previously unknown to these nomads.

Only one large river, the Awash, flows through the Danakil Desert. However, it dwindles into a series of lakes before ever reaching the sea. Consequently, there is a great need for pure water sources for the Danakil and their herds. In recent years, they have suffered because of famines and drought.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth long-term Christian laborers into Ethiopia.
* Ask God to anoint the Gospel as it goes forth via radio to this tribe.
* Pray that additional evangelistic tools will be made available to the Afar.
* Ask God to provide pure water sources for the Afar and their herds living in the Danakil Desert.
* Ask the Lord to raise prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth a strong Afar church for the glory of His name!

View Afar in all countries.

Prayer Links  
PrayerGuard.net
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-12-26
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-01-29
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-01-07
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-01-09
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-01-14
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-01-30
  Submit Update:
Country: Ethiopia
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, East and Southern
Persecution Rank:28 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Total Provinces on file:3
Location in Country:Eastern lowlands, Afar, Amhara, and Somali regions.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
   
 
Maps
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Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
 
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Afar
People Name General: Afar
Alternate People Names:
AdaliDanakil
ROP3 Code: 102419
Joshua Project People ID: 11486
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 1,909,000
Population all Countries: 2,492,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: Horn of Africa Peoples
People Cluster: Afar
People Name General: Afar
Ethnic Code: CMT33z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Afar (1,909,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): aar    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.90 %(Evangelical: 0.08 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.10 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox100.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
 
(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 3   Less than 2% Evangelical. Widespread church planting within past 2 years
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1975-1986
New Testament:
1994
Complete Bible: 2013
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 RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Afar
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoThe Prophets' Story
 
 
Ministry Activity
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Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
 
Data Notes
Data Sources
 
 

Afar in Ethiopia

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

Direct link:  http://legacy.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?peo3=11486&rog3=ET