Introduction / History One of the first Soninke settlements was established in Ghana around A.D. 750. Because of persecution by the Berbers, the Soninke dispersed into small groups within the neighboring regions. The three main sub-groups of the Soninke are the Marka, Nono, and Azer. Often, these tribes are further broken into smaller clans that specialize in various crafts. Some of these groups eventually intermixed with the local Wolof, Serer, and Malinke tribes.
The Soninke live primarily along the Senegal River where it enters the western border of Mali in the Kayes, Yelimane, Nioro, and Nara regions. Other small tribes settled along the borders of Cote d'Ivoire coast and Burkina Faso. Due to influence by a large nomadic tribe known as the Fulani, the Soninke have become farmers and herdsmen.
Where are they located? Starting around 2000, there has been an increase in the number of African migrants to the United States. They are most likely to live in Texas, New York, California, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts or Virginia. Those from Senegal like the Soninke live mostly in Harlem, Chicago, or New Jersey.
What are their lives like? and certain needed skills. That goes for West Africans like the Soninke people.
As a general rule, when West Africans migrate to the US, they form their own ethnic specific neighborhoods. That way they only deal with people from their own language and culture. When their population is big enough, they form their own ethnic group specific mosque.
What are their beliefs? Most of the Soninke in Mali are Sunni Muslims. The remainder are a mixture of various animistic religions (believe that non-human objects have spirits). Those who live in the US are likely to either become more traditional Muslims or become more secularized.
What are their needs? The Soninke people, be they in West Africa or the US, need the opportunity to allow Jesus Christ to transform their lives. They have a much better chance of that happening in the US if believers make a point of reaching out to them.
Prayer Points * Pray that God will give the small number of Soninke believers boldness to share Christ with their own people.
* Ask the Lord to send forth more laborers to New York City to reach the Soninke people who live there.
* Ask the Lord to raise up a disciple making movement among the African diaspora in the US that will extend to Africa itself.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil of Mali through worship and intercession. * Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.