Sambal in Philippines

Send Joshua Project a photo
of this people group.
Map Source:  Mark Stevens
People Name: Sambal
Country: Philippines
10/40 Window: No
Population: 103,000
World Population: 103,000
Primary Language: Sambal
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 90.00 %
Evangelicals: 9.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Filipino, Tribal
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Sangil are one of the smallest of the Filipino Muslim ethnic groups. They originally came from the Island of Sangihe in Indonesia. This island is also known as Sangir or Sangil Island and its inhabitants are called Sangil. Since arriving in Mindanao they have gone through an acculturation process.

The Sangil are hardworking people. Most of them live along the seashore and are engaged in fishing. Others are engaged in farming on hillsides near the sea. In times of economic instability they look for better jobs in General Santos City.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Islam is the basic feature of Sangil individual and community life. They follow the teachings of the Quran. The Imam (priest) is responsible for teaching the Sangil to read the Arabic script so that they can participate in the services in the mosque. They go to the mosque to worship on Fridays, as well as to perform Sangil rites and rituals (lead by the Imam) which include marriage, healing the sick, death and burials. Despite their faithfulness to Islam, however, they still mix a lot of animism in with their basic beliefs. For example, sickness is believed by the Sanil to be caused by the spirits and an offering of a white chicken is made with prayers addressed to the spirits for healing.

The Sangil were one of the major Muslim fighting forces in their defensive war against Spanish colonization. As a result, there continues to be much animosity among the Sangil towards Christianity since it is associated with the colonizers and colonization. In the past the Sangil did not even want to send their children to school out of fear that they might be converted to Christianity. Recently, however, there has been a change of attitude among the Sangil regarding schooling, with many of them recognizing the importance of education. In fact, many Sangil are now professionals. Christianity, though, has only marginally influenced this people, with no known converts.

Prayer Points

* There are many churches present in the Sangil area. Pray that they will see the need to reach their Sangil Muslim neighbors and that God will give them many opportunities.
* Pray for protection for those laboring among the Sangil people.
* Pray for one more missionary team to minister to them on one of the islands of General Santos City.
* Pray that as the Sangil become more open to the opportunities of the modern world - like education - they will also be more open to presentations of the gospel.
* Pray especially for the Sangil children and young people who are the most exposed to the non-Sangil way of life.
* Pray that many will be attracted to Jesus.

Text Source:   Asia Missions (AMNET)