Molbog in Philippines

Photo Source:  Anonymous 
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People Name: Molbog
Country: Philippines
10/40 Window: No
Population: 26,000
World Population: 28,800
Primary Language: Molbog
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.24 %
Evangelicals: 0.24 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Filipino, Muslim
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Molbog is one of the Muslim Cultural minorities, a people group believed to have been migrants from North Borneo. This group is also known as Malebugan or Molebuganon.

The Molbog's location, Balabac Island, is the usual place for stop over by Tausug traders travelling between Brunie, Palawan, and Sulu for replenishment of their food and water supplies. It is through this that the Molbog have constant contact with the Tausug. Intermarriages between Tausug and the Molbog people is allowed and offspring of these marriages are known as "Kolibugan" or half-breed. It is also through this process that the Molbog are Islam-anized very rapidly.

Linguistically, the Molbog language has some lexical similarity with Sama, Tausog and Palawano.

The livelihood includes subsistence farming, fishing and occasional barter trading with the Sulu and nearby Sabah market centers.

In the past, the Molbog were ruled by Sulu datus under the Sulu Sultanate. Within the Molbog villages, they are led by religious leaders.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Like all Muslim groups, Islam for them is a way of life. Exercise of their religion is characterized with zeal. Observance of the Five Pillars of Islam and basic Arabic chanting are heard daily in every Molbog community. The religious leaders are the ones directing the religious life of the community. Along with their Islamic practice are animistic sacrifices.

There were two groups who seriously worked to reach this people. One started in 1975 and the other started in 1982. They came to the area and were allowed as medical and literacy volunteers. Any outsiders who bring religion are seriously not welcome. Volunteers were also seen with suspicion. It was only in 1990 that the Lord opened the doors for Bible teaching using Islamic terms. Ascending to a written testimony, the teaching opportunity was initiated by one of the religious leaders who influenced other religious leaders to listen. These religious leaders also influenced village people that followed them. From then on, volunteers were able to have many teaching opportunities.

Prayer Points

Pray that in every Muslim and Christian relationship Christians will show love that will open Muslim hearts for the Gospel.
Pray for teaching opportunities. Pray that God's word will continue to speak to them. Pray that God will cause a breakthrough among this people.
Pray for more culturally sensitive missionaries to come to the Molbog people to share Jesus.
Pray for continuous favorable opportunities to be opened for these people that will finally bring salvation for the Molbog.

Text Source:   Asia Missions (AMNET)