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Yao, Muslim in Zambia

Yao, Muslim

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Yao, Muslim in Zambia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
4,900 Yao Islam 3.00 % 1.00 %   

Yao, Muslim in Zambia

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Introduction / History
Large Yao kingdoms came into being as mighty Yao chiefs took control of the Niassa province of Mozambique in the 19th century. During that time, the Yao began to move from their traditional home in today's Malawi and Tanzania, which resulted in the Yao populations they now have. The most important result of the great chiefdoms was the turning of the whole nation to Islam around the turn of the 20th century and after the 1st World War. Because of their trade with the Arabs, the Yao chiefs (sultans) needed scribes who could read and write Arabic. The Islam teachers who were employed and lived in the Yao villages, made a significant impact on the Yao people because they could offer them literacy, a holy book, smart clothes and a square, instead of round, houses.

Furthermore, the Yao sultans strongly resisted the Portuguese, British and German colonial rule, which was viewed as a major threat to them. The British, who were seen as Christians, tried to stop the slave trade by attacking some of the Yao slave caravans near the coast. They freed the slaves and confiscated the ivory, which the slaves had been transporting. The greater Yao chief Mataka decided that becoming a Christian would have a negative economic impact on his people, while Islam offered them a social system, which would assimilate their traditional culture. Because of the political and ritual domination of the chiefs, their conversion to Islam caused their subjects to do likewise.

Where are they located?
Yao people live in most of the countries of southern Africa including Zambia, but most live in Mozambique, Tanzania or Malawi.

What are their lives like?
Yao people wear charms in a vein effort to protect themselves from ill health. They often use folk cures rather than modern medicine.

What are their beliefs?
The Islam which the Yao of Zambia have embraced is not the orthodox form, of the Middle East, but is totally intermingled with a traditional animistic belief system. It is often referred to as Folk Islam.

What are their needs?
Yao people need adequate medical facilities and schools that will help their children deal with the challenges of the 21st century.

Prayer Points
*Pray that Yao people in Zambia will put their full trust in the God of the Bible rather than in the spirit world and charms.
*Pray for Yao believers in other countries to take the gospel to the Yao people in Zambia.
*Pray for a Disciple-Making movement to emerge among Yao communities in Africa.


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Country: Zambia
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, East and Southern
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Eastern province: Chipata district, Kapata township; Katete district.
(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: Yao, Muslim
People Name General: Yao, Muslim
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 110980
Joshua Project People ID: 15988
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 4,900
Population all Countries: 2,899,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Bantu, Makua-Yao
People Name General: Yao, Muslim
Ethnic Code: NAB57b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Yao (4,900 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): yao    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity3.00 %(Evangelical: 1.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam97.00 % 
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
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1880-2008
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 2014
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 Yao
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Text / Printed MatterBible: Yao
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Yao, Muslim in Zambia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Bantu, Makua-Yao     Africa, East and Southern    
      Yao, Muslim Zambia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Yao, Muslim in Zambia          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Yao  
    All Religions                              

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