Somali, Garre in Ethiopia

Somali, Garre
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People Name: Somali, Garre
Country: Ethiopia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 58,000
World Population: 58,000
Primary Language: Somali
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.26 %
Evangelicals: 0.26 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Somali
Affinity Bloc: Horn of Africa Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Garre of Somalia are a sub-tribe of a much larger ethnic group known as the Somali. The Somali live scattered across the northeastern portion of Africa, commonly called the Horn of Africa, and in the Middle East. Although the Somali adhere to the same Islamic faith and share a common cultural heritage, they are divided by language distinctions and clan conflicts.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Garre in Ethiopia are nomadic herdsmen, seasonally migrating with their camels, sheep and goats. They live in portable huts made of bent saplings covered with animal skins or woven mats. Their collapsible tents can easily be loaded on pack animals and moved with the herds. The wealth of most Garre is in their herds. Although the husband remains the legal owner of the herd, his wife controls part of it. The moving patterns of Garre nomads are dependent upon climate and the availability of grazing land. If water or grazing land becomes scarce, the families pack up their portable huts and move across the desert as a single, extended family unit. The Garre are quite loyal to one another, spreading evenly across the land to make sure that everyone has enough water and pasture for his herds. According to Islamic law, a man may have as many as four wives. Each wife has her own hut where she raises her children. Unfortunately, the divorce rate among the Garre is high. The children of divorced parents are usually split by gender, with the wife taking the girls and the husband taking the boys. Formerly, the Garre's diet consisted of almost solely dairy products. Today, however, maize, rice and some vegetables are also included. Chewing qat, a mild stimulant, is a favorite social pastime for most Garre.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Garre Somali in Ethiopia are Muslims who believe that the one supreme being, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, they must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times each day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor and make a pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship. These people depend upon good works to pay the penalty for their sins. They depend upon the spirit world for their daily needs because they regard Allah as too distant. They believe that Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well they live in their daily lives. Consequently, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.

What Are Their Needs?

These people for whom Lord Jesus laid down His life remain unengaged and unreached with the gospel. Their largest need is to know their creator God who has made provision for the penalty of their sins so they can have a life-changing relationship with him.

Prayer Points

Pray that Almighty God’s Holy Spirit will move mightily among Garre Somali families and communities in Ethiopia sparking Disciple Making Movements that will meet their spiritual and physical needs. Pray for courageous workers filled with fruit and power of God’s Holy Spirit to be instrumental in discipling new believers who will disciple others and planting Christ-centered churches among these people.

Text Source:   Joshua Project