Dyula in United States

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People Name: Dyula
Country: United States
10/40 Window: No
Population: 15,000
World Population: 4,695,100
Primary Language: Jula
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 2.00 %
Evangelicals: 1.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Manding
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The name jula means "itinerant trader," and the Jula (AKA, Dyula) people are still well respected for their trading abilities. The trading posts established by the Dyula for hundreds of years eventually morphed into market villages and cities. They have left their mark on West African history and economy. The Dyula are the descendants of the Malinke (Mandingo), inheritors of the ancient Mali Empire. Between the Arab world to the north and the black African nations to the south, Mali has always been the cultural crossroads of western Africa. The result is a cultural mix that the Dyula contribute to through their music, dance, and beautiful jewelry. By the time the Mali Empire was at its peak in the 1300s, the Dyula had made Mali their trade base for West Africa. They traded gold, millet, slaves, cola nuts, and anything else of value. Later, the Maninka rulers of Mali began spreading Islam throughout the African plains, and the Dyula became strong converts.
Today most live along the trade routes of West Africa. Dyula clans have settled in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, and Mali. A smaller number have migrated to Western nations such as Canada and the United States.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Dyula society is hierarchical, and caste based. They live in clans, and the clan is the most important aspect of their lives. The people are fiercely loyal to their clans, proudly defending them. The father is the head of the family, and they pass down inheritances from fathers to their sons. Older males possess the most power and influence. All this is being challenged among those who have migrated to North America. Most likely, the Dyula mix socially with other African immigrants. Their personal contacts probably include other Africans and anyone who is Sunni Muslim they meet at the mosques. African immigrants to North America tend to be from the wealthy communities. Most like these West African traders are involved in high-level commerce in Canada and the United States.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Dyula are Sunni Muslim. Most of the others hold traditional animistic beliefs (believe that non-living objects have spirits). West African Islam does, however, generally retain local traditions and is more tolerant of diversity than elsewhere. The Dyula people's traditional animistic beliefs get challenged as they interface with Muslims from various parts of the world. As one generation gives way to the next, it will be difficult to maintain traditional religion, especially in a Western setting. The Dyula people hold Muslim scholars in high esteem. They are responsible for educating the people in the teachings of the Koran. The teachings of the Koran share several similarities with Christianity: the belief in one all-powerful God, the existence of protecting angels, and they even have a belief in the second coming of Jesus, though it puts Mohammed in the primary position. There is much to build upon, but the Dyula people need to understand they are sinners in need a Savior.

What Are Their Needs?

The complete Bible has been translated into their language. There are many Christian believers in the United States who can take Bibles and other resources to these Muslims who are separated from the abundant life offered by Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to bless the Dyula people economically and spiritually as a testimony of his goodness and power.
Pray for good fruit to come from efforts to take Christ to the Dyula people. Pray for spiritual openness among the Dyula people in the United States.
Pray for a movement to Christ among the Dyula people.

Text Source:   Joshua Project