The name Sinhala comes from the Sanskrit word for lion. Sinhalese are believed to be of Aryan descent. They migrated from India (Bengal, Orissa, and Gujarat) to Sri Lanka as early as the 6th century B.C. where they were known as Sinhalese. The Sinhalese King, court, and people converted to Indian Buddhism in the 2nd century B.C.
The Sinhalese are the dominant people of Sri Lanka where they make of 74% of the population. Some of these people left their island during the three decades long Sri Lankan civil war (1983-2009) and settled in many other countries, including Libya. In 2011, when Libya was experiencing their own civil war, many began to return to Sri Lanka. Today there are few if any Sri Lankans left in Libya.
The vast majority of the Sinhalese live in their native country, Sri Lanka, though there are small numbers of Sinhalese migrants in many countries in East Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and North America. A small number live in Libya, and that number is diminishing.
The Sinhalese people in Libya continue traditions that have been passed from their ancestors in Sri Lanka, while of necessity obeying the laws of the local government. Most of the Sinhalese traditions on marriage center on a single nuclear family, consisting of a married couple and their children. Yet a Sinhalese man or woman might have four marriages in their lifetime, due to the influence of Islam.
After marriage, a Sinhalese woman typically moves in with her husband's family unless she and her husband can afford to set up their own house. In the past, a Sinhalese couple did not need a marriage certificate to say that they were married. Both the bride and groom would testify that they were living together. Women do not accept their husband's names after marriage but continue to maintain their maiden names. The man is considered the authority of the household, but both man and woman can inherit property.
The majority of Sinhalese in Libya are Theravada Buddhist and the temple is the focal point of their activities. They love to celebrate Buddha Day. Besides the religious Wesak day (a Buddhist celebration of Buddha's enlightenment), the Sinhalese Buddhist community also celebrates the New Year usually on 14th April. New Year's Day begins with lighting a lamp and placing it in a prominent position in the house and it is believed to drive away evil spirits. Certain foods are required, and it is believed that eating these foods on an auspicious day will bring one good fortune throughout the year. This custom is still practiced despite disbelief among most people in their community today.
The Buddhist Sinhalese diaspora need the chance to find their way to Jesus Christ, who offers life to the full.
* Scripture Prayers for the Sinhalese in Libya.
Pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done among the Buddhist Sinhalese people in Libya.
Pray for a movement of Buddhist Sinhalese households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive the Sinhalese people to the arms of Jesus.
Pray for workers who are filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit to go to the Sinhalese people in their various locations.
|Profile Source: Keith Carey|
|People Name General||Sinhalese|
|People Name in Country||Sinhalese|
|Population this Country||16,000|
|Population all Countries||481,000|
|Progress Scale||2 ●|
|Frontier People Group||No|
|Pioneer Workers Needed|
|Alternate Names||Cingalese; Singalese; Singhalese; Sinhala; सिनलीज़|
|Region||Africa, North and Middle East|
|Persecution Rank||4 (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)|
|Primary Language||Sinhala (16,000 speakers)|
|Language Code||sin Ethnologue Listing|
|Dialect Code||345 Global Recordings Listing|
|Language Written||Yes ScriptSource Listing|
Primary Language: Sinhala
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible-New Testament||Yes (1776-1991)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum Bible Agencies|
|National Bible Societies|
|World Bible Finder|
|Resource Type ▲||Resource Name|
|Audio Recordings||Audio Bible teaching|
|Audio Recordings||Story of Jesus audio|
|Film / Video||God's Story video|
|Film / Video||Jesus Film: view in Sinhala|
|Film / Video||Magdalena video|
|Film / Video||My Last Day video, anime|
|Film / Video||Story of Jesus for Children|
|General||Biblical answers to your questions|
|General||Four Spiritual Laws|
|General||Gospel resources links|
|Mobile App||Download audio Bible app as APK file|
|Text / Printed Matter||Bible: Sinhala|
|Text / Printed Matter||Literacy primer for Sinhala|
|Text / Printed Matter||Tools for faith conversations|
|Text / Printed Matter||Topical Scripture booklets and Bible studies|
|Major Religion ▲||Percent|
|Christianity (Evangelical 1.20 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|