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Ilwana in Kenya


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Ilwana in Kenya map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
22,000 Kiwilwana Islam 0.02 % 0.02 % No No   

Ilwana in Kenya

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Introduction / History
The name Malakote (meaning slave) was given to this people group by the Somalis. The Somalis introduced them to Islam and made them slaves. The people today prefer to be called Ilwana (meaning free men) closely related to the Kiswahili word muunguana translated by Krapf and Cust (1882) to be "a free man". A Christian community among the Ilwana has provided refuge to Muslim Background Believers and other Christians when fighting breaks out and persecution is intense.

Where are they located?
They live along the Tana River

What are their lives like?
Their livilihood is based on farming, fishing and bee-keeping.

What are their beliefs?
They practice Islam mixed with animism and witchcraft. Evangelism efforts have met opposition.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-01-31
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Country: Kenya
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, East and Southern
Persecution Rank:44 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Garissa and Tana River counties: Tana River north of Pokomo, between Bura and Garissa.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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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: Ilwana
People Name General: Ilwana
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 106128
Joshua Project People ID: 13432
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 22,000
Population all Countries: 22,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Bantu, East-Coastal
People Name General: Ilwana
Ethnic Code: NAB57j
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Kiwilwana (22,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): mlk    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.02 %(Evangelical: 0.02 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.98 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent15.00 %
Protestant60.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic25.00 %
(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: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
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

Ilwana in Kenya

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Bantu, East-Coastal     Africa, East and Southern    
      Ilwana Kenya    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Ilwana in Kenya          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Kiwilwana  
    All Religions                              

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