Monday, September 15, 2008

Day 15 - The Kanuri

The Fifteenth Day (Monday, September 15)

Living in Nigeria, Niger and Chad

Kanuri main tribes consist of the Yerwa Kanuri, the Manga Kanuri, and Kanembu Kanuri. The majority of the Kanuri live in northeastern Nigeria, where they are the dominant people group. Smaller numbers are also located across the borders in the surrounding countries of Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. This entire region was once ruled by the ancestors of the Kanuri. Aspects of Kanuri culture, language, and religion have been adopted by many of the neighbouring tribes. The Kanuri are tall and very dark in appearance, with a stately, dignified look. Many Kanuri speak Hausa and Arabic.

What Are Their Lives Like?
Most of the Kanuri are farmers; however, they usually practice some other occupation during the dry season. Those who farm raise millet as their staple crop, and supplement it with sorghum, corn, and peanuts. They raise sheep, goats, and some horses. Kanuri settlements vary in size; but most contain walled-in compounds surrounding several mud or grass houses with thatched, cone-shaped roofs. These houses are very cool during the hot months. Farmland surrounds each settlement. Kanuri men marry while they are in their early twenties. Polygamy is common and a man may have as many as four wives. Young girls marry while they are in their teens. Ideally, a man wants his first wife to be a young virgin. However, the bride price for a virgin is quite expensive, so men often take divorced women as their first wives. The divorce rate among the Kanuri is extremely high, with eight out of ten marriages ending in divorce.

What are their beliefs?
The Kanuri have been Muslims since the eleventh century (about 1,000 years). Many superstitions and animistic beliefs are still practiced in conjunction with Islam. Charms and amulets are worn around the neck or in pockets for various reasons.

What are their needs?
Some of the Kanuri tribes do not yet have a translation of the Bible in their native dialect; others tribes have only portions of the Bible. Among the nearly five million Kanuri, there are several hundred known believers.

Adapted from material at the Joshua Project online.

Prayer Starters
* Ask God to call more people to proclaim the love of Jesus among the Kanuri.

* Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Kanuri and increasingly use the small number of Kanuri believers to share the Gospel with others.

* Pray that God will raise up people to translate the Bible into each of the Kanuri dialects.

Testimony from Africa:
Aïcha was born into a family that was partially Christian and partially Muslim. Eventually, under the influence of her older brothers, Aïcha started practicing Islam. At 18 years of age she married a Muslim man and continued to practice Islam including the fast of Ramadan and daily prayer. After the birth of her daughter Aïcha had an amazing series of dreams. Various aspects of the first dream convinced her to stop doing her daily Islamic prayers. Her husband convoked her brothers and sisters to convince her to recommence her daily prayers, but she could not be convinced. In the second dream she saw a man in the sky. Others were fearful of this man and ran but Aïcha was drawn to him even while he was still in the air. Strangely she found herself having an experience similar to the one recorded in Luke 7:36-50. Afterwards within a short time Aïcha met several believers in Jesus. She has given herself completely to the Lord. She suffered a divorce and many difficulties but she has seen the faithfulness of God in her life.

The general coordinator of “30 Days” worldwide has personally met Aïcha.

HT: 30 Days Muslim Prayer Focus

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