Day 20 – Swahili Bajun of Kenya
Arab traders living along the East Africa coast, many hundreds of years ago, 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 here, 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 Islamic Party of Kenya is prevalent in this area, which hints at the ongoing differences between Christianity and Islam in Kenya. The Bajun, though surrounded by a sizeable Christian population, are often uncomfortable associating with the Christian community and, thus, very few Bajuni people have Christian friends.
How to Pray
+ 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.