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Gujarati in Tanzania


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Gujarati in Tanzania map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
512,000 Gujarati Hinduism 0.50 % 0.10 %   

Gujarati in Tanzania

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Introduction / History
The Gujarati are primarily classified as the inhabitants of the state of Gujarat, western India. For most of them, Gujarati is their native language. They are a complex people group, speaking various dialects and having many cultural distinctions. Some of these differences are based on region, while others are based on their "caste" (social class) or community.

Today there are significant Gujarati communities in some 27 nations. Many are in Africa but others can also be found in Myanmar, Iran, and Malaysia. Living conditions in these countries vary; however, the Gujarati who have emigrated are usually from the higher, wealthier castes and have maintained many aspects of their own culture. They are often involved in trade or in operating small businesses.

Gujarat is one of the most industrialized states in India. Its lengthy coastline and numerous harbors have made it a focal point of travel and trade. The Gujarati are known as being resourceful businessmen. This has helped them to successfully emigrate and thrive around the world.

What are their lives like?
The Gujarati are divided into a number of social groups. In Gujarat, villages generally lie in clusters and sub-clusters based on the "caste" system. The castes are actually culture groups, based not only on occupations, but also on such things as customs, manners, and habits.

The Hindus, who make up the largest group, are divided into a number of castes or jatis. The structure of their society is based on the principles of "purity and pollution." The priestly class, known as the Brahmin, is in the highest position, while servants and laborers are in the lowest caste. Unfortunately, despite various degrees of acculturation, most Hindus retain their strong cultural ties.

Most marriages in Gujarati societies are arranged. For the Hindu Gujarati, caste and social rank are very important considerations. The Muslim Gujarati are only allowed to marry those from selected groups. They also practice purdah, which means that the women are required to wear veils and remain isolated. Marriage is considered to be an alliance between two families, not just two individuals.

The folklore of the Hindu Gujarati reflects the mythology surrounding the Hindu deity, Krishna. Dances in honor of Krishna have survived in the form of the popular folk dance known as garaba.

Although textiles, plastics, chemicals, and heavy machinery are produced in Gujarat, the majority of the working class are farmers. Wheat and grain are staple crops, and rice is produced in wetter areas. Monsoons are the key to existence for the Gujarati farmers. They are not yet fully equipped with machinery, but the use of tractors has increased.

The state of Gujarat has long been an important center for trade, and their merchants have been sent all over the world. Because their commercial skills have been combined with their natural dedication, the Gujarati have become successful in business ventures internationally.

What are their beliefs?
The majority of the Gujarati are Hindus, regardless of their location in the world. However, a significant number of them have maintained their Muslim ties. The Hindu clergy are drawn from the highest caste, the Brahmins. Therefore, becoming a priest is essentially a matter of birthright, although not all Brahmins practice as priests.

Hindus worship many gods, some of which are animals. Cows are sacred, but they revere monkeys, snakes, and other animals as well. They teach such things as yoga and reincarnation (a continual cycle of death and rebirth). They believe that the soul may be reincarnated as an animal or as a human. The law of karma states that every action influences how the soul will be born in the next life. If a person lives a good life, his soul will be born into a higher state. Whereas, if he leads an evil life, his soul will be born into a lower state, perhaps even as a worm! The cycle continues until spiritual perfection is achieved. Then the soul enters moksha, a new level of existence, from which it never returns.

Hindu shrines contain sculptured images of their gods. Everyday priests wash and dress the images and bring them food. This is not considered idol worship since they believe the gods are actually present in the images.

The Gujarati Hindus hope to better their positions in this life and in the life to come by exhibiting charity, being devoted to the gods, and showing mercy to fellow humans and cows.

On the other hand, the Gujarati Muslims (usually Sunni), often despise the Hindus. The Muslims look down upon their worship of millions of gods and are not hesitant to express the prejudices they feel.

What are their needs?
In many countries where there are Gujarati communities, there are no missionary agencies focusing on this people group. The Bible is available in their language, but the Gujarati must see Christianity lived out. Only then will they understand that true freedom and peace are found in Jesus Christ alone.

Prayer alone has the power to release these Hindus from the bondage of worshiping many gods. Likewise, only intercession can break the strongholds of Islam.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord to raise up missionaries who are willing to share Christ with the Gujaratis.
* Pray that God will give the missions agencies wisdom, favor, and strategies for reaching the Gujarati.
* Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the small number of Christians living among them.
* Pray that Gujarati Christians will be bold in their witness for Christ.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Gujaratis towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Pray that Gujarati businessmen will be evangelized and take the Gospel to their own people.
* Ask the Lord to raise up strong fellowships of believers among the Gujarati.

View Gujarati in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-01-26
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Country: Tanzania
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, East and Southern
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Zanzibar Urban-West, Pemba North, Pemba South, and Dar es Salaam regions; Zanzibar island, Dar es Salaam and other cities.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Country Map:Political map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Gujarati
People Name General: Gujarati
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 103544
Joshua Project People ID: 11982
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 512,000
Population all Countries: 3,367,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
People Name General: Gujarati
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Gujarati (512,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): guj    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.50 %(Evangelical: 0.10 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism89.50 % 
Islam5.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small5.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican15.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant30.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic55.00 %
(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 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1809-1965
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1823-2016
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 RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture / Bible
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoCreation to Christ
Film / VideoFollowing Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Gujarati
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGospel website in this language
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Mobile AppDownload Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed MatterBible: ગુજરાતી - Gujarati
Text / Printed MatterFather's Love Letter
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterOnline Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Text / Printed MatterOnline New Testament (Bibles India)
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Gujarati in Tanzania

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    South Asia Hindu - other     Africa, East and Southern    
      Gujarati Tanzania    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Gujarati in Tanzania          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Gujarati  
    All Religions                              

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