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Pekal in Indonesia


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Pekal in Indonesia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
40,000 Pekal Islam 0.01 % 0.01 % No No   

Pekal in Indonesia

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Introduction / History
The Pekal live along the southwest shores of Sumatra, the sixth largest island in the world. They live in the North Bengkulu Regency. To the west their area is bordered by the Indian Ocean, while to the east are the Bukit Barisan Mountains. The Pekal are often called the Ketahun because many live in Ketahun District. The main highway in western Sumatra that connects Lampung Province to the city of Padang passes through the Pekal area. The Pekal language is part of the Malay language cluster and is used for everyday interaction. The Minangkabau language has influenced the current Pekal language spoken by people today.

What are their lives like?
The majority of the Pekal work as farmers and plantation workers during the rainy season and as fishermen in the dry season. They use traditional, home-made devices and tools in their work. They grow coffee, rice, chocolate, tobacco, tapioca, spices, peanuts and various vegetables. The Pekal also work as teachers, government workers, military personnel, construction workers, basket weavers, brick makers and merchants. The women work in the rice fields and process dried fish and shrimp. The traditional market is a cultural event involving many people. Merchants from other areas come once a week to the bazaar. The Pekal live in homes on stilts; these homes are long and narrow. The Pekal are composed of different clans spread out in districts. If a newcomer wants to live with the Pekal, this person has to cook a meal to share with his/her chosen clan as well as other nearby clans. After this, the person will be formally considered a part of the clan and will be treated like all other Pekal, without distinction for ethnicity, religion, education, or economic status. In the Pekal culture, all people have the same rights. The newcomer must fulfill customary and traditional obligations and fulfill the duties of a Pekal community member.

What are their beliefs?
Almost all Pekal profess Islam but still believe in spirits. This can be seen when they use mantras to call down rain, drive out evil spirits and purify their village from immoral acts. The Pekal have a tradition of giving mutual aid, both socially and materially. They feel obligated to help others because each person relies on others. Although their own income is low, they willingly give help to those in need, like victims of natural disasters. They also contribute to help build mosques.

What are their needs?
Creativity is needed to create new jobs, as many young people do not have employment. The area is still underdeveloped economically compared to other areas of Sumatra. The Pekal need professionals to help them in economic development, education, health and farming. Effective technology could also be introduced to raise their productivity.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-05-24
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Country: Indonesia
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:49 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Sumatra island, Sumatera Selatan and Bengkulu provinces; west coast, near northern provincial border; northeast of Ipuh town to Tembesi river, to near Argamakmur town south.
(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: Pekal
People Name General: Pekal
ROP3 Code: 107962
Joshua Project People ID: 14352
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 40,000
Population all Countries: 40,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
People Cluster: Minangkabau-Rejang of Sumatra
People Name General: Pekal
Ethnic Code: MSY44k
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Pekal (40,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): pel    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.01 %(Evangelical: 0.01 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.99 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
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 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]
None Reported
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Pekal in Indonesia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Minangkabau-Rejang of Sumatra     Asia, Southeast    
      Pekal Indonesia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Pekal in Indonesia          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Pekal  
    All Religions                              

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