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Wassulu in Mali


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
197,000 Bamanankan Islam 0.04 % 0.03 %   

Wassulu in Mali

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Introduction / History
A warm and hospitable people, the Wassulu of West Africa claim to originate from the Futa Jalon (Fulani) of Guinea. They tell various stories of their past. One oral account says that the Wassulu once lived among the Malinke, but in time were told to leave because of their pride and boastfulness about their many possessions. Though the historical accounts of the group's origin and of how they lost their original language vary, the fact that they speak a form of Bamanakan (Bambara) indicates the influence the Bamana (Bambara) people had as the Wassulu settled near them. Wassulu-Bamanakan is also closely related to other Northern Mande languages (Jula and Maninka) found in West Africa. Simply stated, the Wassulu have adopted some of the culture and language of the people they once lived among, while retaining their ethnic identity, thus forming a new people group with their own set of beliefs, traditions, and language.

What are their lives like?
As with many people groups, geopolitical borders do not define the area inhabited by the Wassulu people. The Wassulu region expands from the southwest corner of Mali, to the northwest corner of Ivory Coast and the northeast part of Guinea. Their villages are often remote and some are inaccessible by car at the peak of the rainy season. Like many West Africans, they live a simple lifestyle depending on locally grown crops to feed themselves with little dependency on food items brought into their region. Corn is an important grain in their diet, particularly in Mali. Peanuts, mangoes, and citrus fruits are found in some areas. Cotton is also grown, primarily for export.

What are their beliefs?
Though historical facts are at times obscure, the spiritual needs of the Wassulu people are clear and unchanged. Islam was introduced among the Wassulu in the late 1800s. Although there is strong evidence of Muslim practices in their villages, many of the Wassulu also continue to follow traditional African religious beliefs and practices. This mixture of practices is commonly referred to as folk Islam. The number of Wassulu Christians is believed to be a very small percentage of the population. Christians of other people groups live among the Wassulu in some regions, but often there are cultural barriers that inhibit a natural sharing of the Gospel.

Prayer Points
* Pray for lay pastor "F," who resides in Bamako, the capital of Mali. As a descendent of Wassulu grandparents, God has given him a passion for his ancestral people. Praise God that funding has been provided to assist him in making monthly visits to the Wassulu region of Mali in order to lead chronological Bible storying in key Wassulu villages.
* Pray specifically for Chief M of Village B who has heard all of the chronological Bible stories and has a clear vision of who Jesus is in a dream. Pray that the Holy Spirit will not let Chief M rest until he boldly confesses that Jesus is indeed The Way!
* Join in praying also for Chief Z in Village Y as well as the religious and cultural leaders in the Wassulu region. Some have come to hear the stories; pray that their hearts will be pierced as they hear the Truth.
* Pray for the churches in the U.S. that are partnering to take on the strategy coordinator role for reaching the Wassulu for Christ.
* Pray that they will seek God at every step as they work with Pastor F and the few believers to ignite the flame of passion for Christ among the Wassulu.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-02-15
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-02-15
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Country: Mali
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, West and Central
Persecution Rank:29 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Widespread. Kayes, Koulikoro, and Ségou regions; Sikasso: north, middle Niger river watershed.
(Source: Ethnologue 2018)
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Country Map:Political map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Wassulu
People Name General: Wassulu
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 110714
Joshua Project People ID: 15884
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 197,000
Population all Countries: 295,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Malinke-Bambara
People Name General: Wassulu
Ethnic Code: NAB63h
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Bamanankan (197,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): bam    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Wasulu
Dialect Code:7637
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.04 %(Evangelical: 0.03 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam89.96 % 
Non-Religious10.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic100.00 %
(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 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1923-1942
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1961-1996
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 Bamanankan
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
GeneralBible Visuals
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Wassulu in Mali

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Malinke-Bambara     Africa, West and Central    
      Wassulu Mali    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Wassulu in Mali          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Bamanankan  
    All Religions                              

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