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Tharaka in Kenya


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Tharaka in Kenya map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
230,000 Kitharaka Ethnic Religions 43.00 % 22.00 %   

Tharaka in Kenya

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Introduction / History
The large Tharaka community occupies the low plains between the slopes of Mount Kenya in the west and the upper Tana River in the east. Their history of immigration dates back to the spread of the Bantu people from southern Africa. About one-tenth live in towns, the rest in villages. Village life is considered the superior lifestyle as it preserves their tradition and culture.

They are farmers, keeping cows, goats and sheep and growing cereal crops, cotton, and sun flowers. They trade with people all over the nation and the economy has developed quickly in recent years.

A sense of belonging is an important aspect of life among the Tharaka people. The most respected person is a "mukuru" (elder), who gives advice and settles disputes in the community. A man has to go through several stages in life and education before reaching this highest state.

Marriage brings the woman's family into close relation with the man's and involves a high bride price paid by the husband's father to the wife's father. During the ceremony itself there is a lot of celebrating and beer drinking. Other celebrations take place during circumcision ceremonies, on the birth of a child and in the harvests of June and January.

The first preaching of the Gospel was very opposed, but when one of their own people responded many more were encouraged by example to do the same. Christianity has spread rapidly since the arrival of the Pentecostals in 1960 and after Independence when mission schools were allowed to open. An estimated one-fifth are active Christians, but 70% have changed from traditional religion and believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

The current needs in Tharaka are for better roads and communication, better health care, provision for famine and drought relief and education. The translation of the Bible into Tharaka is also very important as 40% of the population speak only Tharaka.

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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:Embu, Meru, and Tharaka-Nithi counties.
(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: Tharaka
People Name General: Tharaka
ROP3 Code: 110009
Joshua Project People ID: 15463
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 230,000
Population all Countries: 230,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Bantu, Gikuyu-Kamba
People Name General: Tharaka
Ethnic Code: NAB57e
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Kitharaka (230,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): thk    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Tharaka
Dialect Code:20666
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity43.00 %(Evangelical: 22.00 %)
Ethnic Religions57.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent30.00 %
Protestant60.00 %
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: 1934-1996
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 2017-2018
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)
Audio RecordingsOral Bible stories in Kitharaka
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Kitharaka
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Tharaka in Kenya

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Bantu, Gikuyu-Kamba     Africa, East and Southern    
      Tharaka Kenya    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Tharaka in Kenya          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Kitharaka  
    All Religions                              

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