Introduction / History Though we think of Yemen as an Arabic-speaking nation, there are smaller languages and dialects spoken at the local level. One of these is Razihi. Linguists do not agree about whether Razihi is based on Arabic or not. This language is mutually unintelligible with modern Arabic, so the few people who speak this language must learn the form of Arabic spoken by others in Yemen.
Where are they located? The few who speak this language live in the far northwestern corner of Yemen.
What are their lives like? The people who speak Razihi live like the other people of Yemen. Most people earn their living by herding livestock and growing meager crops in a dry climate. Others work in the oil industry. Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the world, and over half live in poverty as defined by the World Bank.
Yemen suffers more than just about any other country from a lack of potable water. They exacerbate the situation by growing qat, a mild stimulant that requires much water. People spend much of their time and energy with this drug.
What are their beliefs? All speakers of Razihi are Muslim. They depend on the teachings of Mohammed as spelled out in the Koran rather than the blood of Jesus Christ for their salvation.
With the high incidence of substance abuse from qat in Yemen, it is clear that many are not serious about obeying the Koran. People who have lived there say that Yemenis will accept any behavior as acceptable so long as it is done in the name of Islam. Few can read classical Arabic to learn the teachings of the Koran, so they depend on imams to teach them.
Prayer Points * Pray for Razihi speakers to seek and find new spiritual answers from Jesus Christ.
* There are no Christian resources in the Razihi language. Pray for them to be able to hear His truth in a language they can understand.
* Pray for Razihi speakers to start the process of finding new water sources and ending their dependence on qat. * Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language. * Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people. * Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.