Malay in Christmas Island

Malay
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2022
Faiz Zaki - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Malay
Country: Christmas Island
10/40 Window: No
Population: 400
World Population: 18,194,300
Primary Language: Malay
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.50 %
Evangelicals: 0.50 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Malay
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

While the Malay are spread throughout southeastern Asia, the majority are located in the country of Malaysia. There, they make up about 1/3 of the population. In addition to sea trade, some Malay may were transported as slaves in the 1700s; others were political exiles. The dispersal of the Malay was in progress by the fifth century A. D. when the Malay began to dominate local trade in Southeast Asia and long-distance trade between northwestern India and southern China. Their domination of sea trade continued until the 1500s and even into the European colonial period. The most numerous Malay minorities live in Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, and Thailand. There are smaller communities in Madagascar, Taiwan, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, the southern Philippines, and even Christmas Island.

Where Are they Located?

The Malays have deep roots in Christmas Island. It harkens back to the days when the Malays were seafarers, as described above.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today the Malays are among the key people on Christmas Island. They are most likely to be found in Flying Fish Cove, also called Kampong.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Islam was brought to Malaysia by Arabic and Indian traders many centuries ago, and the Malay people have come to embrace and ardently follow the Islamic faith. All Malay people are considered Islamic though levels of devotion to the religion are varied. Even those who half-heartedly follow Islam participate in the fasting month, and the Malay people of affluence will go on the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once if not many times during their lifetime. The Malay have early roots in Hinduism and traces of this can still be seen in certain aspects of their culture such as weddings. For instance, the bride and groom sit upon a platform for hours for the guests to admire like they do in Hindu weddings.

What Are Their Needs?

Although tools such as the Bible, evangelistic literature, the JESUS Film, and Christian broadcasts are available in the Malay language, few have accepted Jesus as Savior. The Malay living in Christmas Island have freedom of religion. Christ followers have the opportunity to share Christ with the Malay in Christmas Island. Perhaps Christian teachers and businessmen will have the most opportunities to share the love of Jesus with them.

Prayer Points

Pray for spiritual hunger among Malay Muslims in Christmas Island that will lead them to seek and find the eternal blessings of Jesus Christ. Pray for believers who are filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit to go to them and share Christ until He is exalted among Malay Muslim families. Pray for a movement to Christ among Malay Muslims this decade.

Text Source:   Joshua Project