Bajuni in Somalia

Bajuni
Photo Source:  Dulaneyj65`  Creative Commons  Used with permission
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People Name: Bajuni
Country: Somalia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 11,000
World Population: 222,000
Primary Language: Swahili
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: Bantu, Swahili
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Bajuni are a mixture of Bantu (African), Somali, and Arabs, but they still consider themselves a distinct culture group. Not only did Arab traders intermarry with the African population, but they also brought their Muslim religion to the Bajuni people. These island people were mostly sailors, fishermen or farmers. Their heart language is Kibajuni.

Where Are they Located?

Their original homeland was Kismayo Island. Kismayo means "top of the well." Bajuni Somalis now live on the Bajuni Islands and nearby coastal areas of both Somalia and Kenya.

What Are Their Lives Like?

These are hard times for the Bajuni Somalis. Though they are Somali citizens, some have been driven out of their island home, often because of inter-tribal hostilities, or by the militant group, Al-Shabaab. Some have gone through the UK seeking asylum either there are in Kenya and Tanzania.

The ones that remain on the Bajuni Islands live in fear of being persecuted or deported. Unlike others in Somalia, the Bajuni do not have strong clans to protect their interests. They are also singled out because they are partly Subsharan African instead of "pure" Somalis.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Bajuni follow the laws of Islam to conduct their affairs. Praying and washing five times a day is part of their daily routine. All their children attend Muslim schools where the Koran is diligently studied, and women are traditionally veiled and live very secluded lives. Their social and religious lives revolve around the mosque. There are only a few known followers of Christ among them.

What Are Their Needs?

Water, clean fresh water, is essential for life and health, and much of the world is deprived of it. We have heard the saying, "Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink." This is the case for the Bajuni people who live on tiny Lamu Island along Kenya's coast. Much of their water for drinking and cooking has to be imported.

Prayer Points

* Pray that God will soften the hearts of the Bajuni through the worship and intercession of prayer teams.
* Pray that the Holy Spirit will make them receptive to the gospel and open their hearts towards God's children.
* Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to the Bajuni Somalis in Kenya and Somalia to help improve their living and spiritual conditions.
* Pray for a Disciple-Making movement among the Bajuni Somalis in Somalia.

Text Source:   Keith Carey