While the Malay are spread throughout southeastern Asia, the majority are located in the country of Malaysia. There, they make up more than half of the population, sharing the country with Chinese, Indian and indigenous 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. The most numerous Malay minorities live in Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, and Thailand. There are smaller communities in Madagascar, Taiwan, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom. There is a significant Malay community in South Africa (Cape Malays), Malay-related communities in Cambodia (Western Cham) and the southern Philippines (13 unreached Muslim people groups on the island of Mindanao). What is now Malaysia was a British colony until 1956. The large influx of Malays into the United Kingdom started after 1900, but a few members of this people group may have emigrated to Great Britain as early as the 1700s. Traditionally, Britain was the primary choice of Malays when considering further or overseas study, and today a number of British universities have established campuses in Malaysia. For a period when the costs were increased thousands of Malay students sought alternative destinations for study.
Most Malay people live in Malaysia, Brunei or Indonesia, but a small number have migrated to Western countries like the UK.
There is a strong sense of community among the Malay Muslim Diaspora. The majority of Malays overseas are international students ... at UK universities, USA universities and colleges, medical colleges (as with Ireland) ... or they are post-doctoral scholars. Malay Muslim students have often been criticized for the way they tend to cluster, which is a characteristic of how they live. Sometimes they take up entire apartment blocks. They do this for several reasons: it helps to maintain their sense of identity, it offers a sense of security and it makes it easier for the student leaders to keep an eye on their fellow students. Malay students on government scholarships are monitored very closely which makes it more difficult for individual students to be drawn away into other activities such as Christian meetings. It is a challenge for any outsider to penetrate such a community. Malaysia's government education officers have encouraged students to take opportunities to become involved in local cultural activities as part of their total learning experience overseas, but in practice students have tended to cluster. There are also Malays overseas serving in government posts working in embassies, consulates, tourism and airline offices. They usually have their families with them, have more liberty to live in neighborhoods of their choice, and more freedom to make friends with local people. It is much easier to build relationships with families such as these. Such Malay families can help those seeking to build relationships with Malays and get into Malaysian cultural events and festivals such as visiting their homes during Hari Raya celebrations at the end of Ramadan. The majority of Malays overseas are required to return to Malaysia. This includes students and scholars on government scholarships and those in government service. Some exceptions would be where a Malay student has made a decision to become a Christ-follower or where they have entered into a boy-girl-relationship with a local. Such people will seek a way to remain in the overseas country. There are scattered Malay believers in Jesus around the world, but they are very few. The Malay Muslims need consistent prayer for their spiritual eyes to be open to the blessings of Jesus Christ.
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. The Malaysian Constitution states that to be Malay is to be Muslim. 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 of Peninsular Malaysia 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, Malaysian in United Kingdom.
*Pray for spiritual hunger among Malay Muslims in Great Britain 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|
|Global Prayer Digest: 2008-04-04|
|Global Prayer Digest: 2012-04-23|
|Global Prayer Digest: 2015-04-21|
|People Name General||Malay|
|People Name in Country||Malay, Malaysian|
|Natural Name||Malaysian Malay|
|Population this Country||36,000|
|Population all Countries||17,517,000|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|Frontier People Group||No|
|GSEC||2 (per PeopleGroups.org)|
|Pioneer Workers Needed||1|
|Alternate Names||Javar; Malao-Polynesian; Melaju; Melayu; माले|
|Language Code||zlm Ethnologue Listing|
|Language Written||Yes ScriptSource Listing|
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 0.10 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|