Arab in Burundi

Photo Source:  Hashim Abdullah - Pixabay 
Map Source:  People Group location: Web Research. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Arab
Country: Burundi
10/40 Window: No
Population: 3,800
World Population: 769,100
Primary Language: Arabic, Levantine
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Arab, Arabian
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Do you know what Burundi is? It is a small, landlocked, densely populated nation in East Africa. Since Burundi's independence from Belgium in 1962, the country has been wracked with military coups, mass killings, assassination of leaders, and civil war. Burundi is one of the poorest nations in the world. Over half of the children five years and under suffer from malnutrition. A small population of Arabs live in Burundi. Most came as merchants and slave traders in the 19th century. These Arabs are not given Burundi citizenship. They claim they came from Oman but Oman will not allow them to return. In a sense, the Arabs of Burundi are a stateless people. The primary family language of the Arabs is Arabic. They also speak the national language of Kirundi. Educated Arabs often speak French and English.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Arabs living in Burundi are a diverse group. Many own shops, restaurants and tourist businesses. Some run large coffee and tea plantations. Most live in urban centers. The Arabs have tried to maintain they businesses and families in the midst of Burundi's political turmoil and chaos. Burundi is a resource poor nation. Coffee and tea are the two main cash crops. The diet of the typical Burundian person is made up of sweet potatoes, maize and peas. Meat is so expensive that it is eaten only a few times a month. Since the economic level of the Arabs is higher than the average Burundian, most Arabs can afford a richer diet than the Africans. Arab parents want their children to marry another Muslim Arabs. They encourage their children to gain a secondary and tertiary education. Most Arab young people must leave Burundi to finish their education. Burundi has only one functioning university and space is limited. For the most part, Arabs try to keep under the political radar so they can continue their business ventures whoever is currently governing Burundi.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Arabs of Burundi are mostly Sunni Muslims. They try to obey the teachings of the Koran and the prophet Mohammad. Sunnis believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. However, Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, using deceit, slandering, and making idols. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah. There are few if any Christians in this people group.

What Are Their Needs?

The Muslims of Burundi need to understand that Isa or Jesus is much more than a human prophet. Arabs would benefit by gaining some kind of legal status in Burundi. All the people of Burundi need a stable, just government in order to improve their lives.  

Prayer Points

Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Arabs in Burundi towards Christ followers so that they will be more receptive to the gospel. Ask the Lord to raise up a Disciple Making Movement among the Burundian Arabs. Pray the Arabs gain legal status in Burundi. Pray Arab parents are able to provide for the needs of their children.  

Text Source:   Joshua Project