Swahili in Libya


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The name Swahili literally means "coast," and is the name given to several people groups that share a common culture (Uswahili), language (Kiswahili), and religion (Islam). Thousands of years ago, groups of hunters inhabited the East African coast and intermarried with the shepherds there. By the second century, people from northern Congo came to the area and intermarried with them. Subsequent groups of people migrating from other areas such as the Persian Gulf also joined these coastal people, adopting parts of their culture and language. Later, Indonesian, Hindi, and Portuguese traders settled on the coast. Soon, they too began adopting Swahili traits and became a part of the larger group. The Swahili language has many different dialects. A number of its words were borrowed from Arabic, the second language for many Swahili. As you could imagine from the mix of people who have joined under the "Swahili" umbrella, this language is very complicated. Though they are called "Swahili" by others, they prefer to be named according to their local settlements. Since that time, groups of Swahili have migrated to different parts of the coast, forming their own dialects and cultural variations. They are most likely to be living up and down the East African coast, and their highest populations are in Somalia and Tanzania. Many live in the countries of southern Africa. Some have scattered far and wide to places like Libya, some European nations, Saudi Arabia.


What Are Their Lives Like?

During the turbulent years Libya has faced since 2011, those who can have left for safer places. Some, no doubt, have participated in the ongoing fighting.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Swahili identify with Islam, and to them it is a way of life. Nearly all of the Swahili profess to be Muslims; however, many of their traditional pre-Islamic beliefs and practices still exist. For example, they believe in many spirits, both good and evil. They also believe in the supernatural power of witches and sorcerers. The Swahili often have folk explanations for natural occurrences. For example, some believe that a cow is supporting the earth and that earthquakes are caused when the cow moves its horns. They believe that thunder is the sound of God speaking with the angels and that lightning occurs when God is pleased. To the Swahili, lightning is a good sign because it means that God will send plentiful rain and food that year.


What Are Their Needs?

Like other people in Libya, the Swahili need safety. They also need their physical and spiritual needs to be met.


Prayer Points

Pray for God's mercy on a people who live in a war-torn land. Pray for the Lord to give Swahili people the humility to come as beggars to the only one who can save them. Pray for the Lord to send his children as long-term ambassadors to the Swahili people in Libya. Pray for a Disciple Making Movement among the Swahili people.


Scripture Prayers for the Swahili in Libya.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Swahili
People Name in Country Swahili
Pronunciation swa-HEE-lee
Population this Country 2,300
Population all Countries 1,157,000
Total Countries 25
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names African Black; Arab-Swahili; Bantu; Baraawe; Barwaani; Black African; Central Swahili; Coastal; Coastal Swahili; Mrima; Shirazi; Siddi; Swahili Shamba; Urban; Zanzibari
People ID 15145
ROP3 Code 109644
Country Libya
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 4  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Libya
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 4  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Swahili (2,300 speakers)
Language Code swh   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Swahili (2,300 speakers)
Language Code swh   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Swahili

Primary Language:  Swahili

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1868-1968)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1879-1989)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1890-2017)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Love letter to you from scripture Father's Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Oral Bible Stories Story Runners
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Love Story General / Other
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Swahili Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Hope Video Mars Hill Media
Film / Video Walking with Jesus video Jesus Film Project
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Four Spiritual Laws Campus Crusade for Christ
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General Walk with the Prophets and meet the Messiah Al Massira
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
100.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
Unknown
Independent
Unknown
Orthodox
Unknown
Other Christian
Unknown
Protestant
Unknown
Roman Catholic
Unknown
Photo Source Luciano Rizzello - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more