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Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
|Christian Adherents:||0.11 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|People Cluster:||Guera-Naba of Chad|
|Affinity Bloc:||Sub-Saharan Peoples|
Living in relative isolation on the Chadian savannah plains north of the wide Chari River, the Fanya people are very proud of their Muslim identity. Some believe they are related to the Bua, their cousins on the other side of the Chari River. But unlike the Bua, who are fishermen, the Fanya are known for their hunting skills. Chad became independent from France in 1960. Unfortunately, since that date Chad has experienced a series of civil wars, the assassinations and arrests of political leaders, coups and wars with Libya and Sudan. A quarter of Chad’s income is aid from the UN, NGOs, France, China, and the USA. International agencies consider Chad to be a failed state. Less than 40% of the people are able to read and write. The two official languages of Chad are French and Arabic. Chadians speak over 100 languages and dialects. In 2003 Chad became an oil exporting nation. Most of the revenue from the oil went to buying weapons and for the salaries of the Chadian military, not for the welfare of the Chadian people. There is a tiny fraction from among the Fanya people who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. No Christian resources currently exist in the Fanya language.
The elders of the few dozen Fanya villages remember the time when the wild animals were so plentiful, one could almost walk up to an antelope and catch it with bare hands. Because of modern changes, it is nearly impossible for the Fanya to live off wild game they hunt. The government strongly encourages the Fanya people to farm, not hunt the endangered large animals. The government wants the animals to become part of a growing tourist trade. The Fanya have had to resort to farming millet, maize, sorghum and peanuts as well as raising chickens to supplement their diet. Even now, when a Fanya farmer working in his field hears the yelp of a jackal or the snort of a warthog, he will want to drop his plow and pick up his hunting spear. Elders rule the Fanya villages. Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. When rains are plentiful the Fanya thrive. In draught period which are frequent on the savannah the Fanya find it hard to meet the basic needs of their families. Unfortunately, the majority of Fanya are unable to read and write.
The majority of the Fanya claim to be Sunni Muslims. Their brand of Islam is heavily influenced by pre-Islamic folk religion and animism. The Fanya perform rituals and ceremonies to ward off the influence of evil spirits. Sunnis Muslims try to obey the teachings of the Koran and the prophet Mohammad. Sunnis believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. However, Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, using deceit, slandering, and making idols. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.
The Fanya need schools for their children. They would benefit from the blessings of modern medicine. Christians can help meet those needs. Most of all, the Fanya must understand that Jesus or Isa is much more than the human prophet portrayed in the Koran. He is the perfect God-Man, savior and Lord of the universe.
Pray that Fanya parents are able to meet the needs of their children. Ask the Lord to send workers to the Fanya to engage them with the love of Christ. Pray the village elders would be open to hearing the claims of Christ. Pray that the Lord establishes Bible-believing churches among the Fanya in this decade. Pray the Lord to lead linguists to translate the Bible into the Fanya language.