Gbaya-Bossangoa in Central African Republic





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Gbeya people are settled subsistence farmers and fishermen, living in northern Central African Republic (CAR). Some live in the western area of the country also. There are approximately 200,000 Gbeya according to the 2003 census. They are organized in clans within a hierarchical community structure.

The history of the Central African Republic states that the Gbeya people migrated from the eastern edge of Africa, across Sudan, to escape the Arab conquests of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Before Christianity, the Gbeya believed in animism of different forms: ngaanga, zembe, sereze and unzimara. Christianity has come to the Gbeya people through the Brethren Mission of the United States in the early nineteenth century. Currently, many denominations are active among the Gbeya. The main denominations are the Brethren, Catholic, Baptist, and Apostolic churches. Many Gbeya people claim to be Christians (about 97%), but they still also practice their traditional animistic religion. Forms of syncretism are strong among them.

The Gbeya language belongs to the Niger-Congo family and is in the Adamawa-Ubangi group. Scripture portions were translated into Gbeya in the 1950s by Brethren Missionaries, but were not used because of the government policy of promoting only one national language. In 1994, SIL conducted sociolinguistic surveys and launched a translation project with a team of three translators. This project was handed over to ACATBA in 2001. The Brethren Church is still the main partner of this language project.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Gbaya-Bossangoa
People Name in Country Gbaya-Bossangoa
Population in Central African Republic 240,000
World Population 255,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Bossangoa Gbaya
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Adamawa-Ubangi
People Name General Gbaya-Bossangoa
Ethnic Code NAB66c
People ID 11844
Country Central African Republic
Region West and Central Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank 17  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Bossangoa, Batangafo (Gbabana) subprefectures.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Gbaya-Bossangoa (240,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Gbaya-Bossangoa 240,000
For Primary Language: Gbaya-Bossangoa

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1934-2002)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Jesus Film: view in Gbaya-Bossangoa Film / Video
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Protestant

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 46.00 %)
93.00 %
Ethnic Religions
2.00 %
0.00 %
4.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
1.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
15.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
15.0 %
50.0 %
Roman Catholic
20.0 %
Map Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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