Rashaida in Eritrea



Population

34,000

Christian

Evangelical

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Rashaida people video

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Introduction / History

The colorful Rashaida came to Eritrea from Saudi Arabia about 170 years ago. Living in the desert along the coastline of the Red Sea, their homeland extends from Massawa, Eritrea, to Port Sudan, Sudan.

Rashaida are primarily nomadic. The men are excellent traders, using their camels and Toyota pickup trucks to distribute goods imported from Middle Eastern countries—a lucrative endeavor. A portion of their wealth resulted from renting their camels to freedom fighters during Eritrea's 30-year war of independence.

Rashaida women always wear beautiful veils over their faces. This practice begins when they are children so that no man besides their husband will ever see their face. Once when visiting a Rashaida family, I noticed a mother kiss her young daughter - the veil separating her lips from the child's cheek.

The Rashaida live in isolated communities, preferring not to live with people of other tribes. However, occasionally Rashaida can be found living in Tigre villages or Rashaida men will marry Tigre women.

A gentle approach to the Rashaida initiates a warm, hospitable response. A field trip with 20 Tigrinya students afforded me this experience. On the way to a Rashaida village, our bus got stuck in the sand. We dug and pushed, and an hour later the driver had the vehicle back on a solid surface. By this time our water was depleted, and we were exhausted.

A Rashaida trader in his pickup truck approached, stopped and recognized our need. He offered water and a visit to his village. Nine students climbed in the back of his truck and were driven to meet his four wives. The rest of us went to a nearby family's yard and drank tea with them. It was a meaningful display of Rashaida openness to strangers.

Islam is at the core of Rashaida culture. Due to their mobile lifestyle, a family prayer house is central to their worship. Until recently, no known Christians were numbered among them. However, the situation changed as hundreds of Rashaida youth were drafted into the Eritrean army during the 1998-2000 Eritrea/Ethiopia border war. The daily confrontation with danger and sharing a bunker with born-again believers gave many an opportunity to hear the gospel for the first time. In July 2000, there were seven known discipled believers among the Rashaida soldiers.



Profile Source:   Link Up Africa 

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-01-28
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-01-25
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-01-06
People Name General Rashaida
People Name in Country Rashaida
Population in Eritrea 34,000
World Population 146,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Rashad
Affinity Bloc Arab World
People Cluster Arab, Sudan
People Name General Rashaida
Ethnic Code CMT30
People ID 14523
Country Eritrea
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 12  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Red Sea coast.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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Enthologue Language Map



Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Arabic, Hijazi Spoken (34,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Arabic, Hijazi Spoken 34,000
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Format Resource
Audio Recordings Arabic Bibles Online
General Four Spiritual Laws
Text / Printed Matter Bible-in-Your-Language

Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.01 %)
0.01 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
99.99 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
100.0 %
Orthodox
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Link Up Africa  
Video Source: LinkUp Africa
Profile Source: Link Up Africa 
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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