Maba in Chad

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The country of Chad became independent from France in 1960. Unfortunately, since that date, civil wars, the assassinations and arrests of political leaders, coups and wars with Libya and Sudan have been the norm. A quarter of Chad's income is aid from the UN, NPOs, France, China, and the USA. International agencies consider Chad to be a failed state. In 2003 Chad became an oil exporting nation. Most of the revenue from the oil went to buying weapons and for paying the salaries of the Chadian military, not for the welfare of the Chadian people. The Maba are one of the larger non-Arab peoples in Chad. They live mostly in the Ouaddai (said "Wad-dye") region of Eastern Chad around the major market town of Abeche near the Sudan border. They have lived in this area for centuries before conquerors came. Historically, the Maba were able to stand up to invaders. Domination by outsiders often meant they assimilated conquerors into their own group.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The primary livelihoods of the Maba people are agriculture and animal husbandry. Farmers grow millet, maize, peanuts, sorghum and melons. Most farmers have some animals along with land they cultivate. The Maba are dependent on the rain for their crops. In years of draught, the Maba can face starvation. Maba society is rural, there are over 600 Maba villages around Abeche. The town of Abeche, a major market town, is also a very influential center for Islam in Chad. The Maba are a particularly key people group in the Ouaddai area, with over ten unreached Muslim people groups living in the region. Also, the Maba are influential and key in their influence on Chad's Muslim population. Elders rule Maba villages. Parents arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. The rural Maba marry within their group. Urban Maba are much more likely to marry outside their clan and people. Mapa parents tend to have a large number of children. Children, especially boys, are a blessing from Allah. Many children do not attend school but spend their days helping their families make a living. The Chadian government and NGOs have programs to start schools among the Maba so that their children will learn basic literacy skills.

Unlike cultures that assimilate the ways of their conquerors, historically, the Maba were not weakened by invasions, remaining a dominant people. These rural people have about 600 villages today.
What Are Their Beliefs?

The Maba have been Muslim for three centuries. The Maba's brand of Sunni Islam is heavily influenced by folk religion. The Maba pray to their ancestors and Muslim saints so they can receive the blessings they seek from Allah. In the Koran they read of Isa (Jesus) who opened the eyes of the blind, healed lepers and raised the dead. They have yet to hear that Jesus was more than a good man, that he is their Lord and Savior. The Maba try to obey the teachings of the Koran and the prophet Mohammad. Sunnis believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, using deceit, slandering, and making idols. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah. A tiny fractioin of the Maba call themselves followers of Jesus Christ.

What Are Their Needs?

The Maba need to understand that Isa, Jesus, is much more than human prophet. The Maba would benefit by teams of medical workers coming to them. They also need schools for their children. Christian teachers could help meet that need. The Maba must see the love of Christ demonstrated to them in practical ways.

Prayer Points

Pray that Maba parents will be able to provide for their children. Pray for an enduring peace in the region where the Maba live. Pray that the Lord sends workers to the Maba to share the good news. Pray that the Lord would raise up a fellowship in each one of the Maba villages. Pray the Lord will give Maba families understanding and responsive hearts as they hear about the love of Christ.

Scripture Prayers for the Maba, Mabangi in Chad.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Maba
People Name in Country Maba, Mabangi
Natural Name Maba
Pronunciation MAH-bah
Alternate Names Bitjoli; Borgu; Mabaan; Mabang; Mabangi; Maku; Meban; Mige; Miki; Wadaian
Population this Country 590,000
Population all Countries 620,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 12
People ID 13180
ROP3 Code 105960
ROP25 Code 304877
ROP25 Name Maba (Chad)
Country Chad
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Batha region; Ouaddaï region: Ouara and Djourf-al-Ahmar departments; Sila region; Wadi Fira region: Biltine department, Biltine subprefecture; most of Ouara department and villages south of Biltine.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Chad
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Batha region; Ouaddaï region: Ouara and Djourf-al-Ahmar departments; Sila region; Wadi Fira region: Biltine department, Biltine subprefecture; most of Ouara department and villages south of Biltine..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Map of Maba, Mabangi in Chad Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.01 %)
0.04 %
Ethnic Religions
4.00 %
0.00 %
95.96 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Maba
Language Code mde   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Maba
Language Code mde   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Maba

Primary Language:  Maba

Bible Translation Status:  Translation Started

Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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