Introduction / History Three of the islands, Ngazidja, Nzwani, and Mwali, are members of an independent country, the Union of the Comoro, and these islands above have their names in their local language. The fourth island is of France, and 'Mayotte' is its French name.
Merchants traveled between the Comoros and a number of ports in the Indian Ocean. They traded a wide variety of goods including gems, rare animals, slaves, exotic woods, and spices.
From the 16th through the 19th centuries, European and American ships visited the Comoro Islands. American whalers and pirates would anchor in Comorian waters to restock water and food.
With the disappearance of the whaling industry, the introduction of modern steamships, the opening of the Suez Canal, and the control of the islands by the French, the Comoros became "Forgotten Islands."
Where are they located? The Comorian deaf people live on the volcanic islands between Madagascar and Mozambique, all densely populated and resource poor. The Comoros consist of four major islands and a number of smaller islets strategically located at the northern end of the Mozambique channel. They are 10 to 12 degrees south of the equator and halfway between northern Madagascar and eastern Africa.
What are their lives like? There is no intrinsic language, written or spoken available to deaf Comorians. They do not have a people group name; they are referred to as "the deaf." They are considered unable to learn, foolish, stupid. They are mistreated, ridiculed, and lonely. To make matters worse parents are also condemned for birthing cursed children.
Two small schools have begun that are having a large influence on deaf people, their families, and even government intervention in their behalf. Deaf people are learning quickly, and within three months, even little children are able to teach their families to communicate with understanding. There is no indication, however, that these schools are Christian based.
What are their beliefs? Islam is the state religion. There are no known believers among these deaf people for whom God's Son gave His life.
What are their needs? This is an outcry for all the deaf people, not only in the Comoro Islands, but in the entire world. They have special needs and barriers to the gospel because they cannot communicate in the same way as other people. Deaf people are among every ethnic people group and every country of the world. There should be a people profile for every unreached people group, and their unreached, unengaged deaf people group.
Deaf people are usually classified by country only, example: "Indian Sign Language." However, to reach the deaf among peoples who have no Bible translation or sign language, it is possible that some adaptation (if not an entirely new sign language) will need to be developed in order to reach them. If you think about this, every language (and many ethnic people speaking the same language) will need their own missionaries to deaf people.
Prayer Points * Pray for ambassadors who are fluent in Comorian culture and communication who are also proficient in a form of sign language.
* Two small schools have begun that are having a large influence on deaf people, their families, and even government intervention in their behalf. Deaf people are learning quickly, and within three months, even little children are able to teach their families to communicate with understanding. There is no indication, however, that these schools are Christian based.
* Pray that the Holy Spirit will seek them out, wherever they may be, and send them.
* Pray for fruit, discipleship opportunities, and church plants among them.