One of the world's largest and most rapidly growing ethnic groups are the various Arab groups. In the seventh and eleventh centuries, Arabs invaded North Africa, causing many tribes and pre-Islamic Saharan nomadic groups to be displaced. These invasions also overran and absorbed, to some extent, the passive communities of black farmers, Jewish artists and Berber refugees who lived in and around the oases and trading centers of the northern desert. For this reason, many different Arab groups exist throughout North Africa today, including those tribes that have become "Arabized."Arabs are subdivided into thousands of ethnic groups and subgroups based on their particular Muslim sect, Arabic dialect and regional adaptation. The majority of Arabized tribes of South Sudan speak Sudani, one form of Arabic; however, one group, the Mongallese Arab, speaks Creole Arabic, a somewhat different form.
South Sudan is one of the poorest and least developed countries of the world. Most of its inhabitants are dependent on farming and animal production for their livelihoods. Agriculture is the basis of the economy in most Arabized tribes. Sorghum and millet are their staple crops, including watermelons, gourds, okra, sesame, and cotton. They also raise cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys and dogs. Cheese and butter are made from the milk of both cows and goats. Not all Arabized tribes are farmers. Some tribes, such as the Arabized Midob and the Mongallese Arab, are nomadic herdsmen, traveling from place to place with their herds of cattle and camels in search of better grazing lands. Other Arabized tribes, such as the Hasania and Husseinat, have become successful businessmen and merchants in South Sudan. These groups are deeply engaged in the commercial activities of the cities in their region. Most Arabized tribes live in permanent settlements or villages. Their houses are simple round huts with thatched roofs. Nomadic groups live in temporary camps due to their constant migrating tendencies. They live in dome-shaped shelters made of branches covered with grass. In cities, where the few merchants and businessmen live, the houses are generally rectangular in shape and have tin roofs. The Arabized tribes of South Sudan dress in similar fashion to those people of other Arabic communities. They typically wear sandals, cotton turbans or caps and long-sleeved cotton tunics called djellabas. Most of these groups live much like Arabs of other regions. Their lives revolve around important ceremonies such as birth, marriage, death and the first haircut and circumcision for boys. The most elaborate of all ceremonies is the marriage ceremony. Polygamy (having more than one wife) is a common practice among Arabized tribes. However, according to Islamic law, a man cannot have more than four wives. After marriage, the newlywed couple generally lives with or near the husband's parents. However, in some groups, the young couple will live with the wife's family until after the birth of the first child.
When Mohammed died in A.D. 632, Arabs erupted from the desert pastures of Arabia and overran the lands east and west. They intermarried with the local North African tribes and introduced them to Islam. The tribes began adopting the traditions and practices associated with Islamic culture. The spread of Islam continued and became even more advanced in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when many schools of religious learning were founded. Today, virtually all Arabized tribes are 100% Muslim. They believe that Allah spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. 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.
The majority of the Arabized tribes are not being ministered to by mission agencies. Further evangelistic work and much prayer are needed to penetrate the hearts of these precious people with the Light of the gospel. Bible portions, audio, and visual Bible resources exist in Arabic, the spoken language of Amri people in Sudan, however, they are not presently available to them. Brokenhearted disciples are needed to bring light to these people for whom Christ died.
Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to North Africa and share Christ with these Muslims. Pray that the Christians of South Sudan will be compelled to take the Gospel to their unreached neighbors, friends, and families. Ask the Lord to raise up Christian medical teams to work among the Arabized tribes. Pray that Amri communities and families will be transformed with the gospel, growing roots downward and planting strong churches that will plant other churches.
Scripture Prayers for the Amri in Sudan.
|Profile Source: Joshua Project|
|Global Prayer Digest: 2008-01-17|
|Global Prayer Digest: 2011-01-17|
|Region||Africa, East and Southern|
|National Bible Society||Website|
|Persecution Rank||13 (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)|
|Location in Country||Primarily north Source: Ethnologue 2010|
|Primary Language||Arabic, Sudanese Spoken (92,000 speakers)|
|Language Code||apd Ethnologue Listing|
|Language Written||Yes ScriptSource Listing|
Primary Language: Arabic, Sudanese Spoken
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible-New Testament||Yes (1978-2005)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum Bible Agencies|
|National Bible Societies|
|World Bible Finder|
|Resource Type ▲||Resource Name|
|Audio Recordings||Arabic Bible Online|
|Audio Recordings||Audio Bible teaching|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament|
|Film / Video||Indigitube.tv Video / Animation|
|Film / Video||Jesus Film: view in Arabic, Sudanese Spoken|
|Film / Video||LUMO film of Gospels|
|Film / Video||Story of Jesus for Children|
|Film / Video||The Prophets' Story|
|General||Gospel resources links|
|Mobile App||Download audio Bible app as APK file|
|Mobile App||Download audio Bible app from Google Play Store|
|Text / Printed Matter||Tools for faith conversations|
|Major Religion ▲||Percent|
|Christianity (Evangelical 0.00 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|