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Safwa in Tanzania

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Safwa in Tanzania map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
439,000 Safwa Ethnic Religions 5.00 % 2.00 % No   

Safwa in Tanzania

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Introduction / History
The Safwa (pronounced SAH-fwah) people live in the highlands of southwestern Tanzania. The city of Mbeya is at the center of their traditional homeland, but most Safwa have fled urbanization. They are concentrated, instead, in villages around the city of Mbeya and extending out some 30 miles into the surrounding mountains and valleys. There are evangelical churches in Safwa villages, but many are filled with people of other groups who have moved into Safwa areas.

Many Safwa villages have little or no effective evangelical witness. It is estimated that as many as 80 percent of the Safwa people are devout followers of African traditional religion or no religion at all. Perhaps less than 3 percent are evangelical Christians. Alcoholism is a big problem among the Safwa, as it is among many people groups. As a whole, the Safwa are characterized as "resistant" to the gospel. A group is exploring the possibility of translating the Bible into their language. (From IMB Profile May, 2003.)

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Country: Tanzania
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, East and Southern
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Mbeya region: Mbeya urban, Mbeya rural, Chunya, and Mbozi districts, Mbeya and Poroto mountain ranges; Iringa region border area, north of Lake Malawi.
(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: Safwa
People Name General: Safwa
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 108505
Joshua Project People ID: 14634
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 439,000
Population all Countries: 439,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Bantu, Central-Tanzania
People Name General: Safwa
Ethnic Code: NAB57o
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Safwa
Language Code (ISO): sbk    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
English (Unknown)Swahili (Unknown)
Total Languages: 3
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity5.00 %(Evangelical: 2.00 %)
Ethnic Religions89.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam6.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican5.00 %
Independent5.00 %
Protestant40.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic50.00 %
(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 4   Greater than or equal to 2% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1956-2017
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
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)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Safwa
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

Safwa in Tanzania

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Bantu, Central-Tanzania     Africa, East and Southern    
      Safwa Tanzania    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Safwa in Tanzania          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Safwa  
    All Religions                              

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