Javar Malay in Sri Lanka


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest Sri Lanka census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

Sri Lanka's inhabitants are divided into numerous ethnic groups, the largest of which are the Sinhalese and the Tamils. The Javar Malay make up one of the many minority groups in Sri Lanka. They represent a very small percentage of its population. The word "Javar" refers to their roots in the Indonesian island of Java.
In the 1200s, a small number of Buddhist Malay settled in northern Sri Lanka. It was in the early 1700s, the Dutch brought the Malays from the Indonesian island of Java, a Dutch colony, to Sri Lanka. By that time, the Malay people were solidly Muslim. The Dutch proceeded to colonize the majority of the islands of Southern Asia. The Malays served as a defense for the island of Sri Lanka. They were tough fighters, and the Dutch colonialists granted them land after they had victory over their Portuguese rivals. When the British took Sri Lanka from the Dutch as their colony, they organized the Malay Regiment of Sri Lanka, a military force that won the British Queen's colors, a high honor.
As time passed, the Javar Malay intermarried with other inhabitants of the island. Eventually, their distinctive mongoloid features were lost, and their language became a mixture of Tamil and Malay. Most Malays speak Malay Creole (or Java Jati) at home. This hybrid language is slowly dying out. Muslims in Sri Lanka speak Moorish Tamil in the mosques and English in educational settings.
Though the Malay Creoles live spread across the island of Sri Lanka, most are concentrated in major cities such as Colombo (Sri Lanka's capitol), Kandy, and Badulla.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Today the Javar Malay still have their own associations that hold social and cultural events. They have their own cuisine which includes yellow rice, beef sate, and a beef dish marinated in vinegar and infused with spices. Though they are citizens of Sri Lanka, the Javar Malay have always kept a good relationship with Malaysia. Many of them are now employed in the military, police forces, as civil servants, and as plantation owners in Sri Lanka.


What Are Their Beliefs?

While most of Sri Lanka's population is either Buddhist or Hindu, Muslim account for only a small percentage. Practically all Malay Creoles are professing Sunni Muslims. They do not adhere to the strictest form of Islam, however, but have simply incorporated Islamic practices into their own beliefs in spirits and ghosts. Deep-rooted beliefs in Islam and spiritism have caused a tremendous resistance to the gospel.


What Are Their Needs?

The Javar Malay need the chance to put their identity and hope in Jesus Christ, the resurrected Savior who came to give them life to the full.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Malay, Javar in Sri Lanka.

Pray for spiritual openness to the only savior, Jesus Christ, among Javar Malay in Sri Lanka.
Pray for Javar Malay leaders to open their community to Christ's ambassadors.
Pray for the Lord to thrust out His workers to this untended harvest field. Pray for God's favor to surround his disciples as a shield.
Pray for a Disciple Making Movement among Javar Malay families.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

The Malays
Source:  Asia Harvest      Download

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-09-16
Global Prayer Digest: 2016-10-29
Malay profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
People Name General Malay
People Name in Country Malay, Javar
Natural Name Javar Malay
Pronunciation muh-LAY
Population this Country 43,000
Population all Countries 17,582,000
Total Countries 24
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Javar; Malao-Polynesian; Melaju; Melayu; माले
People ID 13437
ROP3 Code 106144
Country Sri Lanka
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Total States on file 9
Largest States
Western
26,000
Southern
8,700
Central
3,000
North Western
1,800
Eastern
1,700
Uva
1,400
Sabaragamuwa
500
North Central
50
Northern
50
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country Sri Lanka
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Total States 9
  Western 26,000
  Southern 8,700
  Central 3,000
  North Western 1,800
  Eastern 1,700
  Uva 1,400
  Sabaragamuwa 500
  North Central 50
  Northern 50
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Sri Lankan Malay Creole (43,000 speakers)
Language Code sci   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Sri Lankan Malay Creole (43,000 speakers)
Language Code sci   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Sri Lankan Malay Creole

Primary Language:  Sri Lankan Malay Creole

Bible Translation Status:  Translation Needed

Resource Type Resource Name
None reported  
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
100.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest Sri Lanka census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2021  Faiz Zaki - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Video Source Asia Harvest
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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