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Yao, Muslim in Mozambique

Yao, Muslim

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Yao, Muslim in Mozambique map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
191,000 Yao Islam 1.40 % 1.00 %   

Yao, Muslim in Mozambique

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Introduction / History
The Yao have lived in northern Mozambique for hundreds of years. A close look at the history of the Yao people as a whole will show that their ethno geographic center is located in a small village called Chiconono, in the northwestern Mozambican province of Niassa. When Arabs arrived on the east coast of Africa they began trading with theYao people, mainly slave and ivory, in exchange for clothes and guns. Because of their involvement in this coastal trade they became one of the richest and most influential tribes in Southern Africa.

Large Yao kingdoms came into being as mighty Yao chiefs took control of the Niassa province of Mozambique in the 19th century. During that time the Yao began to move from their traditional home in today's Malawi and Tanzania, which resulted in the Yao populations they now have. The most important result of the great chiefdoms was the turning of the whole nation to Islam around the turn of the 20th century and after the 1st World War. Because of their trade with the Arabs, the Yao chiefs (sultans) needed scribes who could read and write Arabic. The Islam teachers who were employed and lived in the Yao villages, made a significant impact on the Yao people because they could offer them literacy, a holy book, smart clothes and a square, instead of round, houses.

Furthermore, the Yao sultans strongly resisted the Portuguese, British and German colonial rule, which was viewed as a major threat to them. The British, who were seen as Christians, tried to stop the slave trade by attacking some of the Yao slave caravans near the coast. They freed the slaves and confiscated the ivory, which the slaves had been transporting. The greater Yao chief Mataka decided that becoming a Christian would have a negative economic impact on his people, while Islam offered them a social system, which would assimilate their traditional culture. Because of the political and ritual domination of the chiefs, their conversion to Islam caused their subjects to do likewise.

Where are they located?
There are a minimum estimated 450,000 Yao people living in Mozambique. They largely occupy the eastern and northern part of the Niassa province and form about 40% of the population of Lichinga, the capital of this province.

What are their lives like?
The Mozambican Yao people are generally agricultural. Growing a good corn crop has everything to do with how a given family makes a living. Their level of production is mostly subsistence and therefore they basically eat what they grow. When a good corn crop is produced they sometimes will sell some of it on the local market in order to buy things that they do not produce themselves such as soap, salt and bicycles.

What are their beliefs?
The Islam which the Yao of Mozambique have embraced, is not the orthodox religion, which is found in the countries such as Iran, Iraq, Saudi-Arabia, ect., but is totally intermingled with their traditional animistic belief system. It is often referred to as "Folk Islam."

What are their needs?
The obvious need of the Yao people is a personal, hand-holding relationship with Jesus Christ, forsaking their practice of witchcraft and Islam. There is a need for missionaries who can patiently learn the Ciyawo language, develop relationships in the villages and make disciples by displaying the love of Christ, preaching the gospel and operating in the signs and wonders, as the Yao people are very "spiritual" people who have experienced the power of demonic forces in their lives and communities.

Prayer Points
* Please pray that the Lord would remove the blindfolds which Satan has placed upon the hearts of the Yao people, and that laborers would be sent to plant seeds that would take root in fertile soil, and produce a great harvest of souls.
* Pray for freedom from witchcraft, fear and envy.
* Pray that the Lord would draw indigenous expressions of worship among new Yao believers as music was suppressed at the advent of Islam in their culture.
* Pray that the chiefs, secretaries and Muslim leaders in every village would be saved and leverage their influence among the others in their village for the kingdom of God.

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The Gospel Among the Yawo of Africa
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Country: Mozambique
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, East and Southern
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Niassa province: south and east of Lake Malawi; Zambezia province: Gurue district, northwest border; Cabo DelgadopProvince: Ruvumu river near Negomano; western Nampula province.
(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: Yao, Muslim
People Name General: Yao, Muslim
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 110980
Joshua Project People ID: 15988
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 191,000
Population all Countries: 2,739,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Bantu, Makua-Yao
People Name General: Yao, Muslim
Ethnic Code: NAB57b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Yao (191,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): yao    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity1.40 %(Evangelical: 1.00 %)
Ethnic Religions4.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam94.60 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican60.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant20.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic20.00 %
(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 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1880-2008
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 2014
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 / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Yao
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Text / Printed MatterBible: Yao
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Yao, Muslim in Mozambique

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Bantu, Makua-Yao     Africa, East and Southern    
      Yao, Muslim Mozambique    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Yao, Muslim in Mozambique          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Yao  
    All Religions                              

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