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The Swahili Bajun of Kenya
June 3, 2018
Many hundreds of years ago, Arab traders living along the East Africa coast married local women and introduced their Islamic religion and way of life to what is now known as the Swahili Bajun people.
A coastal people, the Swahili Bajun traditionally worked as fishermen, though many are now also in trade. Everything from their spicy food to their family and social structure has been influenced by Arab culture, making this one of the most devoutly Islamic tribes in East Africa.
Men are expected to provide for their families, but the local economy is reliant on the unpredictable tourist industry, and recent attacks by terror groups have had a negative impact on the economy. Many women supplement the family income by cooking, sewing or trading from home. There is also a growing concern about the rising use of illicit drugs among young men.
The symbol of the Islamic Party of Kenya is prevalent around this area, along with the white flag with a red moon and star, representing the struggle between Christianity and Islam. Though surrounded by a large Christian population in Kenya, the Bajun are uncomfortable associating with them and may regard them as enemies.
Pray for them
- Life is centered around the mosque. Pray that the mosques will promote efforts to live peaceably in this diverse nation and provide wise leadership to young people who could be drawn towards extremism.
- Pray for those tempted by drug addiction and for the families who love them.
- Pray that the Swahili Bajun will have opportunities to better understand the love of Jesus and respond to His message.
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These pages are made available every day during the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World for those who cannot afford to purchase, or do not have access to the booklet.
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