Photo Source: Islas Comores - Flickr Creative Commons
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|People Name:||Comorian, Ndzwani|
|Primary Language:||Comorian, Ndzwani|
|Christian Adherents:||0.60 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|People Cluster:||Bantu, Swahili|
|Affinity Bloc:||Sub-Saharan Peoples|
The Comoro Islands are located in the Indian Ocean, not far from Madagascar. There are three main islands, each with their own language. Ndzwani is one of these islands. The Comorians are a blend of settlers from the past: Iranian traders, mainland Africans, Arabs, and Malagasy.
Some of them have moved to Reunion, and island to the east of Madagascar, where they live a similar lifestyle as those in the Comoros.
Most of the islanders work as farmers or fishermen, while a few raise cattle, sheep, goats, and donkeys. A small number work in industry or in jobs relating to tourism.
The basic diet of Ndzwani Comorians consists of rice, potatoes, corn, fish, coconuts and bananas. Other crops that they grow include sweet potatoes, citrus fruits and pineapples. Their housing is usually of poor quality.
Although young people wear Western style clothing, traditional clothing is still common among older adults. In town, a Ndzwani Comorian man will typically wear a white cotton garment and a knee-length shirt, sometimes with a white jacket and a white skull cap. When he goes out of town, he wears a long cloth sarong (colorful skirt). Most women wear long, colorful cotton dresses, with bright shawls as face coverings. Other women prefer wearing black robes that cover their heads.
Polygamy is an acceptable practice among Ndzwani Comorians. Children are expected to help with the farming, fishing, and caring of the animals. For recreation, Comorians enjoy dancing, singing, and playing instruments, especially horns and drums.
Most Ndzwani people are Muslim, but they follow the teachings of the Koran very loosely. They might attend a mosque on Friday but feel no guilt about using charms from witch doctors on other days of the week. Witchcraft blends comfortably with Islam on the Comoro Islands. Most members of the Ndzwani people group see no contradiction between the two. They know that Allah is the sovereign creator, but they think that other spiritual forces must be dealt with for practical, day-to-day needs. Allah is too distant to deal with such matters.
The physical needs of Ndzwani Comorians are numerous. Major problems on Reunion include poverty, disease and hunger. Educational levels are low, and less than half of the population is literate.
There is a shortage of hospitals and doctors, and many suffer from illnesses and chronic malnutrition. Because of a poor water supply, good hygiene is lacking. Such problems contribute to a high death rate, especially among young children.
The spiritual needs of the Ndzwani Comorians are even greater than their physical needs. Though freedom of religion exists on the islands, evangelism is not well received by these Muslims. Their commitment to the Islamic religious system, coupled with involvement in occult practices, has made them difficult to reach.
The number of Ndzwani Comorian believers remains small wherever they live. Prayer is the first step toward seeing the eyes of their hearts opening to the Name of Jesus Christ.
Pray for the Ndzwani people to be blessed abundantly through a good harvest this year as a testimony of the Lord's sovereignty and provision.
Pray for the Lord to send out loving workers to ensure that the Ndzwani have the chance to say yes to Jesus.
Pray that soon there will be a disciple making movement among the Ndzwani people in Reunion.