Introduction / History
Hundreds of years ago, the Wolof conquered many tribes in what is now northwestern Senegal. By the end of the 1300s, the Wolof had grown into a large empire of separate, self-governing states. By the 1500s, the empire had split into four major Wolof kingdoms. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Europeans exported slaves, ivory, and gold from Senegal, which became known as a center of the slave trade. Slavery was abolished in 1848. Senegal was a French colony before their independence in the 1960s.
Today the Wolof are the dominant people group in Senegal, the westernmost country in Africa. Some of them have moved to other parts of Africa. A few have strayed as far as France, New York City, and Canada.
Where are they located?
Wolof people can be found in the Canadian cities of Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, and Winnipeg.
What are their lives like?
The Wolof people are mainly from Senegal, where there is little electricity or indoor water. The climate is warm or hot most of the year. They are adjusting to a cold climate with abundant snow, and an advanced, urban culture. The adjustment must be difficult.
What are their beliefs?
The Wolof are attracted to the Sufi form of Islam more than other Muslim peoples. Sufism is much more mystical and "emotional" than other forms of Islam. In Senegal, about 92 percent of the people belong to a Sufi brotherhood, also called tariqas. This indicates a possible interest in the emotional side of spirituality. Perhaps those who share Christ with the Wolof people can use this as a bridge.
What are their needs?
There is freedom of religion in Canada, and believers need to take advantage of it and reach out to Muslim peoples like the Wolof people. Believers can teach language and job skills to Wolof people who want to earn a living in Canada.
* Pray for dedicated workers who are willing to spend years trying to win and equip Wolof people to be disciples in Christ's Kingdom.
* Pray for a Wolof based church planting movement to begin in Canada.
* Pray for the Wolof people to have easy access to gospel materials.