Summary The name Swahili literally means "coast," and is the name traditionally given to several people groups that share a common culture, language (Swahili), and religion (Islam) living along the eastern coast of Africa. Today, the Swahili are scattered along eastern Africa and the Persian Gulf, from Saudi Arabia to Zambia. Though they are called "Swahili" by others, they prefer to be named according to their local settlements. For about 2,000 years, the backbone of the Swahili economy has been commerce. They worked as cross-national merchants trading spices, slaves, ivory, gold, and grain. Today, international commerce is still important to the Swahili but to a lesser degree. Many upper class Swahili now manage small businesses, do clerical work, and teach school. Since the Swahili are predominantly Muslim, Islamic practices play a large role in their daily activities. The central building in each town is the mosque.
Ministry Obstacles Swahili have generally been staunch Muslims for generations, a tradition that partially defines them.
Outreach Ideas Perhaps the Swahili will learn of the possibility of scripture downloads from the web and will be curious enough to read these downloads on their computers or phones.
Pray for the followers of Christ There are likely no followers of Jesus today among the Swahili of Saudi Arabia. Please pray the Lord will soon stir the hearts of many in this tribe to find out more about Jesus (whom Muslims call Isa al-Masih) as the Koran is read in the mosque. Pray Jesus will appear to some in dreams or visions.
Pray for the entire people group Please pray the Swahili in all countries of residence will gain an interest in the Savior, Jesus Christ. He died that they may find eternal life.