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Samburu in Kenya


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Samburu in Kenya map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
310,000 Samburu Ethnic Religions 30.00 % 12.00 %   

Samburu in Kenya

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Introduction / History
Kenya's Samburu speakers resisted acceptance of the Gospel for 50 years. Yet God opened their hearts, and many now follow Christ.

Like the related Maasai, many Samburu are nomadic cattle herders. Five to 10 families move together to new pasture lands every five weeks. Pastors regularly visit city and village families, but maintaining contact with nomads is difficult. Those believers have few Christians for fellowship, when they move so much.

Pastors preach from the available Maasai translation to the Samburu and a neighboring group, the Ilchamus, but they struggle to communicate Scripture concepts effectively. Language is a significant hurdle, though the groups are related. Some Maasai words are derogatory or vulgar in Samburu.

Cultural differences also create issues between Samburu and Ilchamus villages. Many Ilchamus people fish and grow crops for a living. These are taboo activities for the Maasai and are seldom done by Samburu speakers.

In a 2004 meeting, about 11 Samburu church leaders from various denominations shared a story: "The Samburu once had a 'book.' But a cow ate their 'book.' And the only way to get the 'book' back is through the cow." Church leaders then promised to each donate a cow to help fund translation work.

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Country: Kenya
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, East and Southern
Persecution Rank:44 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Isiolo, Marsabit, and Samburu counties: Lake Turkana east towards Marsabit.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Samburu
People Name General: Samburu
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 108573
Joshua Project People ID: 14672
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 310,000
Population all Countries: 310,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Nilotic
People Name General: Samburu
Ethnic Code: NAB62k
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Samburu (310,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): saq    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity30.00 %(Evangelical: 12.00 %)
Ethnic Religions70.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican50.00 %
Independent10.00 %
Protestant30.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic10.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have a significant presence.
Least-Reached: No
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: 2012–2015
New Testament:
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)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Samburu
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
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

Samburu in Kenya

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Nilotic     Africa, East and Southern    
      Samburu Kenya    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Samburu in Kenya          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Samburu  
    All Religions                              

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