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Introduction / History
The Aikanã were originally semi-nomadic people, living in the rainforest. Later they worked for rubber barons, tapping trees for latex sap. With help from the government the Aikanã resettled in reservation land exclusively for them as an indigenous community, entitled to social and health benefits. Today they work in agriculture, livestock, mining and logging.
Tradition has taught the Aikanã people about a good, creator god who takes care of them and an evil god who causes fear and bad events. About half of them still adhere to these beliefs, doing their best to stay in the favor of the good deity. Though this may sound similar to Scripture, the "good" god possesses many character flaws and must be appeased in order to "bless" his worshippers. And the people live in fear, because the two spirits are thought to be equal in power.
The Aikanã Christians grieve as they watch others try to drown their problems with alcohol. Believers' choices reflect the value God places on human life and family relationships. Contrary to custom, they don't practice infanticide or indulge in adulterous relationships. They radiate peace instead of cowering in fear and feeling worthless.
Churches have grown up among the Aikanã, but the leaders are all volunteers in their 20s. Many older people — even the pastors' parents — disapprove of this "new" faith. It is hard for the Christians to defend and share their beliefs without Scripture in their mother tongue.
Scripture Prayers for the Aikana, Tubarao in Brazil.