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Sukuma in Tanzania


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
9,598,000 Sukuma Christianity 50.00 % 12.00 %   

Sukuma in Tanzania

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Introduction / History
The Sukuma people are the largest people group in Tanzania. The Sukuma live in the northwestern part of the country between Lake Victoria and Lake Rukwa. Their major town center is Mwanza, which is situated on the shore of Lake Victoria. Sukumaland consists mainly of dry savannah or semi-desert and the climate is subtropical. The Sukuma are closely related to the neighboring Nyamwezi people group. About 80% of the people still live in rural areas, although more and more people are moving into the major cities.

Most of the Sukuma people are subsistence farmers and cattle herders with sweet potatoes and millet as staple food. The main cash crops are cotton and tobacco. The majority of Sukuma people practice and are deeply rooted in animism. Every area of life, from naming their children to planting crops, is affected by their belief in the ancestral and other spirits. The Sukuma are presently about 42% Christian, and that number has been growing significantly in recent years. However, there is still a lot of syncretism with animism in Christianity. The Sukuma people in rural areas are especially poor, but they are able to meet their own subsistence needs. However, when drought comes to this dry savannah region, as it has recently, this area is hit especially hard.

The Sukuma also have a spiritual need – to be freed from the bondage and fear of spirit beings. Much of a Sukuma animist's life and resources is spent for the ancestor spirits and other spirit beings, because they are deathly afraid of them. Further economic detriment is caused to the society due to the view that a person must be using witchcraft if s/he is wealthier than those around him/her, so the successful move away.

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Country: Tanzania
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, East and Southern
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Shinyanga and Mwanza regions; Kagera, Tabora, and Singida regions; some in Kigoma and Mara regions; between Lake Victoria and Lake Rukwa, to Serengeti plain, Kiya, Gwe; few in cities, 88% in the traditional area.
(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: Sukuma
People Name General: Sukuma
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 109589
Joshua Project People ID: 15112
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 9,598,000
Population all Countries: 9,600,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Bantu, Central-Tanzania
People Name General: Sukuma
Ethnic Code: NAB57o
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Sukuma (9,598,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): suk    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Sub-division:Roman Catholic
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity50.00 %(Evangelical: 12.00 %)
Ethnic Religions35.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam15.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican10.00 %
Independent5.00 %
Protestant25.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic60.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have a significant presence.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 4   Greater than or equal to 2% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1895-1995
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1960
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)
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Sukuma
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoWalk with Jesus (Africa, JF Project)
Text / Printed MatterBible: Sukuma
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Sukuma in Tanzania

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

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