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Somali Bantu in United States

Somali Bantu

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
52,000 Maay Islam 0.50 % 0.20 % No   

Somali Bantu in United States

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Introduction / History
Bantu is a major cluster of Black African peoples from southern and eastern Africa. Some of these people were taken as slaves to Somalia by Arab Muslims in the 1800s, and generations later they became known as Somali Bantu. Ethnically they are not Somali, and they speak a non-Somali language.

During the 1990s, civil war raged in Somalia, and these despised people had their land taken from them, many were killed, and women were raped. They fled to refugee camps in neighboring Kenya where they languished for roughly 10 years before some of them were sent to start new lives in the United States. The first Somali Bantu people arrived in the US in the early 2000s. They are still adjusting to life in America.

Where are they located?
Most Somali Bantu live in Somalia or Kenya, but a few are able to come to the United States. They live in cities like Atlanta, Columbus, Salt Lake City, and Pittsburgh where their skills as farmers are almost useless.

What are their lives like?
Efforts to re-settle the Somali Bantus have been difficult. They don't have the job skills or education needed for America's economy. They have needed housing, which isn't affordable except in depressed areas like Pittsburgh, where there is already a serious problem with unemployment.

What are their beliefs?
Most Somali Bantu are marginally Sunni Muslim. A few are Roman Catholic. Their spiritual lives are affected by traditional animistic religion.

What are their needs?
The Somali Bantu desperately need someone to help them until they are ready to stand on their own feet. They need language and job skills. Believers who are able to help them with these needs would be very welcome.

Prayer Points
* Pray that their hearts will be opened to the gospel as their physical needs are met.
* Pray for peace and prosperity for the Somali Bantu, and that this displaced people would find their Heavenly Father.
* Pray that the Somali Bantu will encounter the generosity and love of Christ through his followers in Kenya and the United States.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to birth a cascading discipleship movement among the Somali Bantu people in the US.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.


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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-05-28
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Country: United States
Continent: North America
Region: America, North and Caribbean
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Resettled in a number of American cities and towns, including Columbus, OH.
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Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Somali Bantu
People Name General: Somali Bantu
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 103458
Joshua Project People ID: 20784
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 52,000
Population all Countries: 907,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Bantu, Swahili
People Name General: Somali Bantu
Ethnic Code: NAB57
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Maay (52,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ymm    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.50 %(Evangelical: 0.20 %)
Ethnic Religions3.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam96.50 % 
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: 2006-2007
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
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)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Maay
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Ministry Activity
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Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Somali Bantu in United States

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Bantu, Swahili     America, North and Caribbean    
      Somali Bantu United States    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Somali Bantu in United States          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Maay  
    All Religions                              

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