Pray for the Ja’aliin of Sudan

Descended from one of the earliest known human civilizations, and tracing their lineage to the prophet Muhammad, the Jaaliin people of Sudan were originally Nubians who became Arabised and now form the largest Sudanese Arab population.

There are four million Jaaliin (also known as Ja’alin, Gaaliin or other spellings) and they traditionally lived and farmed along the hot and dry banks of the Nile River basin in Northern Sudan. Many have moved to cities, but they keep close ties with their homeland and fellow tribesmen, mostly marrying within the tribe and living in communities with other Jaaliin.

Identity is an important issue to many Jaaliin. They emphasize their descendancy from Muhammad, a distinction which is more important than being ethnically Arab. But being Arab is also important, as the Jaaliin assimilated the Arab language, culture, and their Sunni form of Islam. Outside of Sudan, however, Jaaliins may be considered “African” for their placement on that continent. Different families may feel different connections to these, and other identities, if they have emigrated. Whatever ways they identify, the Jaaliin are a strategic group for spreading the gospel in Sudan, due to their influence and size.

The Jaaliin are one of the largest populations on lists of unreached and unengaged people groups. There are no known believers and no known efforts to make disciples among them. There are some resources available in their language which could be used to communicate the Gospel to them, but they are in an area that is stricken with poverty and unrest which makes it very challenging to establish any kind of ministry.

How to Pray

  • Pray for Christian groups in this area who want to engage the Jaaliin to have opportunities and the resources needed to make disciples. (Acts 1:8)
  • Pray for Jaaliin who are in positions of influence to be peacemakers. (James 3:17-18)
  • Pray for the Jaaliin to discover their identity in Christ. (Ephesians 4:20-24)

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