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Pray for the Afar of Ethiopia

The Afar people group mostly live in East Africa, in the nations of Ethiopia, Djbouti and Eritrea. They are almost entirely Muslim – there are less than 0.5% known believers in their ethnic group. With a population of only 2 million, they are a small population but they have existed for centuries – they claim to be the descendants of Ham, the son of Noah. The Afar have been known as Muslims since the earliest recording of them, although there are traces of their ancient spiritual beliefs in their customs, such as wearing amulets, divination and folk magic.

Most Afar – around 1.5 million – live in Ethiopia. Most of them live a nomadic life and work as herdsmen, while others work in the salt mines of the Danakil Depression – a feature of the dry land where they have survived heat and drought for generations.

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Afar women rest after dancing for Sultan of Gobaad during a ceremony in Djibouti. Photo by Nessa Humes, Wikipedia CC.

There are many obstacles to the Afar people hearing the gospel. Their nomadic lifestyle, a strong cultural identity shaped around Islam, and social pressure to remain faithful to the tribal beliefs make it very challenging to introduce the message of Jesus. As drought and famine force more Afar into urban areas for work, they may have more opportunities to meet a Christian but it is still unlikely.

See also  Pray for Bihari Muslims

How to Pray

  • Pray for the Afar people to have dreams and visions of Jesus that lead to salvation.
  • Pray that ministries in Ethiopia will find creative ways of sharing the gospel with the Afar.
  • Ask the Lord to bless the Afar people, and to send them ways to experience His great love for them.
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