Rufaa, Rufaiyin in Sudan


Joshua Project has identified the Rufaa only in Sudan

Population

551,000

Christian

Evangelical

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Introduction / History

One of the most striking characteristics of Sudan is the diversity of its people. The Sudanese are divided into 19 major ethnic groups and about 597 sub-groups. In addition, they speak more than 100 different languages and dialects. The Rufaa of Sudan are one of the many "Arabized" groups living in the northern part of the country. Although it is known that they speak a language called Sudani, the location, culture, and history of the Rufaa are not known. Further investigation is an essential prerequisite before any missions work can begin among this people group.

Sudan's leaders proudly boast that they are the leaders of the Islamic revolution in Africa. The Arab minority have used this as a tool to strengthen both their personal control of the economy and their political power. The tragic cost of this has been more than a million people killed, an economy devastated, and a country divided.


What are Their Lives Like?

Those Sudanese who consider themselves Arab are generally racially mixed, and many of them are indistinguishable from blacks living in southern Sudan. Despite a common language and religion, the "Arabs" are not a unified group. They differ greatly in occupation and way of life and are composed of city dwellers, village farmers, and nomadic herdsmen. The Arabs have historically been divided into tribes based on presumed descent from a common ancestor. Each tribe (or cluster of tribes) is assigned to a larger tribal grouping, with the two largest being the Jaaliyin and the Juhaynah. Today, this system has largely disappeared in the cities and villages and exists only among the nomads of the plains.

Little is known about the specific lifestyle and culture of the Rufaa; thus, some assumptions have been made in this profile based on other groups that live in this region. About two-thirds of Sudan's population is engaged in subsistence farming or grazing, but only about five percent of the land is arable. Many farmers live in the southern part of the country or in the grasslands of central and western Sudan. Sorghum and millet are the main crops grown there, but wheat, corn, and barley are also raised. As a whole, the main crops grown in Sudan are cotton, peanuts, sesame, gum arabic, durra (a type of sorghum), sugarcane, coffee, and dates.

Since water is scarce, rural communities in Sudan are usually clustered near sources of water. The types of houses built vary from north to south. In the north, villages are often strung out along the rivers, and houses are made of sun-dried bricks and have flat-topped roofs. In central and southern Sudan, there are round huts with thatched, cone-shaped roofs made of grass, millet stalks, and wooden poles. In central Sudan, walls made of millet stalks often surround compounds.

Though towns are few and widely scattered, only about a fifth of Sudan's population can be considered urban. Southern Sudan was the least urbanized region in 1956 but has since seen much urban growth.


What are Their Beliefs?

A major rift exists between the northern and southern peoples of Sudan. The north is dominated by Muslims, most of whom speak Arabic and identify themselves as Arabs. The people of the south are primarily Africans (blacks), who for the most part follow traditional African religions. Also, some Christians can be found in the south.

The Rufaa are almost exclusively Sunni Muslim. Sunni Islam in Sudan, as in much of the rest of Africa, has been characterized by the formation of tariqas, or Muslim religious brotherhoods. The oldest of these tariqas is the Qadiriyah, which was introduced to Sudan from the Middle East in the 1500's. Another major tariqa is the Khatmiyah, or Mirghaniyah, founded in the early 1800's.


What are Their Needs?

The Rufaa have some Christian resources available to them. More information, fervent intercession, and pioneer missions efforts are all required to win the Rufaa to Christ.


Prayer Points

* Ask the Lord to open the doors of Sudan to the preaching of the Gospel.
* Pray that many of the Rufaa will hear and respond to the Christian radio programs being broadcast in their area.
* Ask the Lord to save key leaders among the Rufaa who will proclaim the Gospel to their own people.
* Pray that God will strengthen, embolden, and protect the few Rufaa believers.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Pray that strong local churches will be raised up among the Rufaa.


Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Rufaa
People Name in Country Rufaa, Rufaiyin
Population in Sudan 551,000
World Population 551,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Rufaiyin
Affinity Bloc Arab World
People Cluster Arab, Sudan
People Name General Rufaa
Ethnic Code CMT30
People ID 14587
Country Sudan
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Primarily north.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
People Group Map Rufaa, Rufaiyin in Sudan

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Arabic, Sudanese Spoken (551,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Arabic, Sudanese Spoken 551,000
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1927-1964)
New Testament Yes   (1978)
Complete Bible No
Format Resource
Audio Recordings Arabic Bibles Online
Audio Recordings Global Recordings
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Arabic, Sudanese Spoken
General Four Spiritual Laws
Scripture Bible-in-Your-Language

Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.03 %)
0.20 %
Ethnic Religions
5.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
94.80 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source: Vít Hassan   Creative Commons  
Map Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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