Introduction / History
The word "Mwani" means "beach" in their language. Mwani tradition states that around 1,100 years ago Arab traders came down the east coast of Africa to trade and to take slaves. Entire people groups along the coast became Muslims because the Arabs, being Muslims, were not allowed to take another Muslim as slaves. In this way the Mwanis also became Muslims. Today, to be a Mwani is to be a Muslim. From when they are children, Mwanis go to the Madrassa, or Islamic school. There they learn about Islam and learn to read and recite the Quran in its original Arabic form (Quran means to recite in Arabic), but many don't understand its meaning. Despite this ability to read Arabic, most Mwani are illiterate in their own language. Many speak only a little bit of the national language, Portuguese, and then not on a level enabling understanding of the Gospel.
Where Are they Located?
The Mwani live along the coast of northern Mozambique, and on islands close to the coast.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Most of them live not far from the sea. Most are very poor. Some make their living from fishing and transporting people by sea, many through trading, baking, and some farming. Many men attend mosque five times a day.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Folk Islamic. Very dedicated to Islam, but with some animistic practices, especially among the women.
What Are Their Needs?
The gospel. Micro enterprise development. Education.
* A breakthrough of the gospel
* Breaking down of spiritual strongholds
* Wisdom, safety and health for the missonaries
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