Turkana in Ethiopia





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Turkana are one of the most courageous and fierce groups of warriors in Africa. They are traditionally nomadic shepherds, and are one of the most mobile populations in the world. They do not have chiefs or elders. Political influence belongs to those who have age, wealth, wisdom, and oratorical skill. Because of the unusually high bride-price, it is almost impossible for a man to marry until his father has died and he has inherited livestock. Though fearless in all respects, they hold to folk beliefs. They believe in dreams and place great faith in diviners who have the power to heal the sick, make rain, and tell fortunes.

Ministry Obstacles

The Turkana are quite mobile, making them difficult to contact and more difficult to befriend.

Outreach Ideas

A number of resources are available in the Turkana language, including the New Testament. Pray for workers to take these resources to the people.

Pray for the Followers of Christ

Pray the few followers of Jesus among this tribe will live holy lives, singing and making melody in their hearts to the Lord. Pray the Lord will use them as his instruments.

Pray for the Entire People Group

Pray for these nomadic people to find food for their livestock, and find ways to educate their children in spite of being mobile.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Turkana
People Name in Country Turkana
Population in Ethiopia 40,000
World Population 1,174,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Nilotic
People Name General Turkana
Ethnic Code NAB62r
People ID 15653
Country Ethiopia
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 22  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Turkana (40,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Turkana 40,000
For Primary Language: Turkana

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1972-1994)
New Testament Yes   (1986)
Complete Bible No
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Jesus Film: view in Turkana Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
World Missionary Press Booklets Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.70 %)
3.00 %
Ethnic Religions
97.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
10.0 %
75.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
15.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Kip Lines  
Map Source: Bryan Nicholson / cartoMission  
Profile Source: Joshua Project  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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