Iranun in Philippines

Photo Source:  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Iranun
Country: Philippines
10/40 Window: No
Population: 287,000
World Population: 287,000
Primary Language: Iranun (Philippines)
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.02 %
Evangelicals: 0.02 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Filipino, Muslim
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Ilanunu are a small Filipino Muslim group of sea-based people who are very closely related, culturally and linguistically, to the Maranao and especially to the Maguindanao. Sometimes the Ilanun are numbered among the Maranao, particularly those living along the coast of Lanao del Sur and sometimes they are numbered among the Maguindanao. Historically, the Ilanun, the Maranao and the Maguindanao have been considered separate ethnic groups, though they are descended from common ethnic origins.

Most of the Ilanun are engaged in fishing, while the rest raise food crops along with Muslim and non-Muslim neighbors. Their socio-political organization is governed by traditional and customary laws. They have their own datus and headman. The headman acts as a mediator of dispute and as a facilitator of discussions and meetings.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Ilanun are Muslim and common to all Muslim groups is the performance of the five pillars of Islam. The Ilanun observe these pillars but they are relatively more relaxed about them. The Ilanun also believe in spirits and are in constant fear of them. Thus, there are many animistic rituals that they also observe in addition to Islam.

The Ilanun have resisted every effort to introduce Christianity to them. Their attitude towards Christianity is still marked by indifference. There has been one group trying to reach the Ilanun for a long time but with very minimal results.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Filipino Christian community, especially in the provinces of Lanao del Sur and Mguindanao, to see the need to love, reach out and evangelize the Ilanun.
Pray for protection, wisdom, strength and encouragement for those ministering to the Ilanun.
Pray that God will provide opportunities for the Gospel to be shared with this people.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to open the hearts of the Ilanaun and turn them from indifference towards Christ.
Pray for one new missionary team to live and minister among the Ilanun.
Pray that the centuries of misunderstanding and mistrust between Filipino Christians and Filipino Muslims be removed.

Text Source:   Asia Missions (AMNET)