While the Malay are spread throughout southeastern Asia including Myanmar, the majority are located in the country of Malaysia. There, they make up about 1/3 of the population, sharing the country with Chinese and Indian minorities. In addition to sea trade, some Malay may have been transported as slaves in the 1700s; others were political exiles. The dispersal of the Malay was in progress by the fifth century A. D. when the Malay began to dominate local trade in Southeast Asia and long-distance trade between northwestern India and southern China. Their domination of sea trade continued until the 1500s and even into the European colonial period. During this era a small number of Malays settled in what would later be known as Myanmar. Later when Myanmar was controlled by the British Empire, peoples from various British-controlled parts of the world were moved from place to place, including the Malays.
There is a strong sense of community among the Malay Muslim Diaspora. There are Malays overseas serving in government posts working in embassies, consulates, tourism, and airline offices. They usually have their families with them. Most Malays in Myanmar are from the Kedahan subgroup, and they have their own version of Malay and several smaller dialects. They are different from the Malay people in Malaysia. In general, courtesy is a very important aspect of Malay society. Most of their groups are loosely structured, their commitments are not strong, and loyalty to a group is not as important as being courteous. The "pure Malay" is considered to be kind towards women, children and animals; introspective, polite, slow to speak, passive, and indolent. Of course, there are many variations of what a "true Malay" is, depending on the countries in which they now live. Cleanliness is typically a feature of most Malay homes. As Muslims, they generally do not eat pork or drink alcohol. Most Malay families consist of a husband, his wife, and their children. In Malay society, marriage is expected of every person. According to Islamic law, a man may have as many as four wives. However, most marriages are monogamous (having only one wife). Although many marriages are arranged, the consent of both parties is required. There are no descent or kinship groups among the Malay.
Islam was brought to Malaysia by Arabic and Indian traders many centuries ago, and the Malay people have come to embrace and ardently follow the Islamic faith. All Malay people are considered Islamic though levels of devotion to the religion are varied. Even those who half-heartedly follow Islam participate in the fasting month, and the Malay people of affluence will go on the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once if not many times during their lifetime. The Malay have early roots in Hinduism and traces of this can still be seen in certain aspects of their culture such as weddings. For instance, the bride and groom sit upon a platform for hours for the guests to admire like they do in Hindu weddings. A more important divergence from Islam is the use of the bomoh, a witchdoctor. Although Islam forbids the use of such a person many Malay will seek the services of a bomoh when they are experiencing a difficult situation or when they believe they need some magic. Also, they use bomohs for honorable or ignoble purposes. Furthermore, they consult bomohs in order to receive a blessing or a cure; or, on the other hand, in order to curse someone or get revenge.
Although tools such as the Bible, evangelistic literature, the JESUS Film, and Christian broadcasts are available in the Malay language, few have accepted Jesus as Savior. The Malay living in Western countries have freedom of religion. Christ followers in these countries must seize the opportunity to share Christ with the Malay. There is a need for increased intercession and missionary efforts to see the Malay reached with the gospel. Perhaps Christian teachers and businessmen will have the most opportunities to share the love of Jesus with them.
* Scripture Prayers for the Malay in Myanmar (Burma).
*Pray for spiritual hunger among Malay Muslims in Myanmar that will lead them to seek and find the eternal blessings of Jesus Christ.*Pray for believers who are filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit to go to them and share Christ until He is exalted among Malay Muslim families.*Pray for a movement to Christ among Malay Muslims this decade.
|Profile Source: Joshua Project|
|People Name General||Malay|
|People Name in Country||Malay|
|Population this Country||27,000|
|Population all Countries||17,517,000|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|Frontier People Group||Yes|
|GSEC||1 (per PeopleGroups.org)|
|Pioneer Workers Needed||1|
|Alternate Names||Javar; Malao-Polynesian; Melaju; Melayu; माले|
|National Bible Society||Website|
|Persecution Rank||18 (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)|
Primary Language: Malay
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible-New Testament||Yes (1668-1974)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum Bible Agencies|
|National Bible Societies|
|World Bible Finder|
|Resource Type ▲||Resource Name|
|Audio Recordings||Audio Bible teaching (GRN)|
|Audio Recordings||Father's Love Letter|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament (FCBH)|
|Audio Recordings||Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)|
|Film / Video||Indigitube.tv Video / Animation|
|Film / Video||Jesus Film: view in Malay|
|Film / Video||My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)|
|Film / Video||Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)|
|General||Four Spiritual Laws|
|General||Got Questions Ministry|
|Mobile App||Download Audio Bible app as APK File from FCBH|
|Mobile App||Download Audio Bible app from Google Play Store|
|Text / Printed Matter||Download scripture in this language|
|Text / Printed Matter||Jesus Messiah comic book|
|Text / Printed Matter||Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)|
|Text / Printed Matter||Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)|
|Text / Printed Matter||World Missionary Press Booklets|
|Major Religion ▲||Percent|
|Christianity (Evangelical 0.02 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|