Acehnese in Malaysia

Provided by Joshua Project
Acehnese
Photo Source:  Vanina W  Creative Commons 
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People Name: Acehnese
Country: Malaysia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 84,000
World Population: 4,008,000
Primary Language: Malay
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Aceh of Sumatra
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Aceh are a blend of many races. They are also known as the Akhir, A-Tsing and Urueng.

Most Aceh people live on the northern tip of Indonesia's island of Sumatra in Aceh Province. They are the majority ethnic group there. Their provincial capital of Banda Aceh used to be a stopover for Southeast Asian Muslims traveling by ship to Mecca.

In the 21st century, there have been a couple of times when Aceh people have fled to Malaysia. This has either been because of civil unrest and the resulting marshal law, which affects the local people, or because of natural disasters. In both cases the Acehnese in Malaysia are living under desperate circumstances.

Where Are they Located?

Acehnese are often not allowed to legally live and work in Malaysia. For that reason, many of them stay near the construction sites and other places of work, ready to flee whenever they see a police officer approaching.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Some Acehnese are able to find low-paying jobs as construction workers and venders in Malaysia, but a large number of them cannot find work. They are at risk of being trafficked into slave-like conditions. Those who find work are expected to send money back to their families in Indonesia.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Known throughout Indonesia as devout followers of Islam, they are very proud of their Muslim faith. Their devotion to Islam has sometimes led to militancy and violence against the Indonesian government, which they consider to be less devoted to Islam.

What Are Their Needs?

The Aceh people in Malaysia need to find ways to contribute to the local economy, and earn an honest living. They need job skills so that they will not be vulnerable to those who will try to exploit them.

Prayer Points

* Pray for Chinese and Indonesian believers to help them gain work skills that will allow them to earn a good living.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to break through to Aceh people so that they will forsake the darkness and seek the One who is the Light of the World.
* Pray for a church planting movement among Aceh people in Malaysia that will spread to those living in Indonesia.

Text Source:   Global Prayer Digest