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Soninke in Mauritania

Soninke

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Soninke in Mauritania map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
238,000 Soninke Islam 0.15 % 0.12 % No   

Soninke in Mauritania

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Introduction / History
One of the first Soninke settlements was established in Ghana around A.D 750. Because of persecution by the Berbers, the Soninke dispersed into small groups within the neighboring regions. The three main sub-groups of the Soninke are the Marka, Nono, and Azer. Often, these tribes are further broken into smaller clans that specialize in various crafts. Four of the most important Soninke tribes are the Sisse, Drame, Sylla, and Kante. Some of the Soninke groups eventually intermixed with the Wolof, Serer, and Malinke tribes.

The Soninke live along the southwestern border of Mauritania, just north of the Upper Niger and Senegal Rivers. This remote region is now known as the Sahel. Due to influence by a large nomadic tribe known as the Fulani, the Soninke have become farmers and herdsmen. They speak a Mandingo language called Soninke (or Sarakole).

What are their lives like?
The social structure and organization of the Soninke are typical of Mande-related people groups. They are farmers who raise sorghum, rice, peanuts, and their staple crop, millet. They also raise large numbers of goats, sheep, horses, chickens, and cattle. Very little fishing and hunting is done, and trade is extremely important. The Soninke trade in the local markets. They also travel to markets in other regions to trade their goods.

In the past, the Soninke men cleared the land and cultivated the crops; the women also worked in the gardens. Today, however, they have one of the highest rates of labor migration in West Africa. Much of the male population is absent from the home doing migrant work, which often lasts from two to four years. With the women, old men, and children left behind, a form of matriarchal (female-dominated) society has evolved.

The Soninke live in compact villages, in which homes are built in two distinct styles. One style is round huts with brick walls and thatched roofs. Other houses are rectangular with brick walls, interior courts, and flat terraced roofs. Houses line both sides of the main street, and a mosque is typically located in the village square.

Soninke marriages require the payment of a bride-price. In contrast to most neighboring tribes, the bride-price is given to the bride rather than her parents, and becomes part of her dowry. Premarital sexual relations are forbidden. Polygyny (having more than one wife) is generally accepted, with each man being limited to four wives by Islamic law.

In the past, inheritances were passed down from fathers to sons. Today, Muslim rules govern the dispersion of property: one-eighth goes to the widow, while equal shares go to each son, and half shares go to each daughter.

What are their beliefs?
Most of the Soninke in Mauritania are Sunni Muslims. The remainder are a mixture of various animistic religions (believe that non-human objects have spirits). Muslims follow the teachings of Mohammed, the Islamic prophet. Their holy book, the Koran, was said to have been given to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel.

As Muslims, the Soninke adhere to the five essential "pillars" or duties of Islam. These include affirming that "there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet;" praying five times a day while facing Mecca; giving alms generously; fasting during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year; and making at least one pilgrimage to Mecca, if possible.

What are their needs?
Among all the Soninke in Mauritania, there are only a few Christians. Those who convert to Christianity are severely persecuted by Muslims; therefore, evangelizing is extremely difficult. Most Soninke have not yet heard a clear presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord to send forth laborers into Mauritania to share Christ with the Soninke.
* Pray that Christian radio and television broadcasts will be made available in the Soninke language.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to anoint the Jesus film as it is presented in their area.
* Pray that God will give the small number of Soninke believers boldness to share Christ with their own people.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil of Mauritania through worship and intercession.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth a strong and growing Soninke church for the glory of His name!
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.

View Soninke in all countries.

Prayer Links  
PrayerGuard.net
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-02-11
Link Up Africa
  Submit Update:
Country: Mauritania
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, West and Central
Persecution Rank:25 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Total Provinces on file:2
Location in Country:Guidimaka, Gorgol, and Dakhlet Nouadhibou regions: Selibaby and Kaedi towns. 45 villages.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
   
 
Maps
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Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
 
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Soninke
People Name General: Soninke
Alternate People Names:
AzerSarakole
SarawuléSerahuli
SererToubakai
ROP3 Code: 109413
Joshua Project People ID: 14996
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 238,000
Population all Countries: 2,713,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Soninke
People Name General: Soninke
Ethnic Code: NAB63j
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Soninke
Language Code (ISO): snk    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.15 %(Evangelical: 0.12 %)
Ethnic Religions2.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam97.85 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant35.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic65.00 %
 
(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
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2001-2012
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)
Audio RecordingsOral Bible stories in Soninke
Film / VideoGod's Way: 1. Introduction
Film / VideoGod's Way: 11. Allah's Way & the Prophet ...
Film / VideoGod's Way: 7. Musa & the Law
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Soninke
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
 
 
Ministry Activity
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Networking: Visit LinkingGlobalVoices.org for networking possibilities.
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
 
 

Soninke in Mauritania

Peoples
               
Geographic
Global                 Global
           
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    Soninke     Africa, West and Central    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Soninke Mauritania    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Soninke in Mauritania          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Soninke  
    Global    
Language
 
    All Religions                              
   
Religion
                             

Direct link:  http://legacy.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?rog3=MR&peo3=14996