The Alagwa of Tanzania

Population: 40,000

Location and Background: The Alagwa live in in a geographically remote area at 4,000-6,000’ elevation in the hills and mountains of central Tanzania. They live in 15 villages, and although the Bubu river runs through the lower lands, the  higher regions suffer from lack  of water and they often must walk miles to find water to meet the needs of their families.

History: The Alagwa are a Cushitic group, who migrated south from the horn of Africa. They believe they are descended from Habesh, who was the 10th generation from Noah’s son Ham, and are still living with the curse put on their ancestor.

Culture: The Alagwa are subsistence farmers, growing maize and millet. They also keep cows, goats and sheep. They are very community oriented, living in houses made of burned brick with roofs of thatched grass. The Alagwa speak both Alagwaisa and Kiswahili.

Religion: A tribal legend says that once when some Alagwa visited Mecca they were rejected by the Muslims for having ‘no religion’—only animistic beliefs. They later embraced Islam, so that now well over 90% are Muslims. However, they seamlessly blend their traditional beliefs with their Islamic ones. Allah, Mungu and Lala’a are all used to refer to God. So although they are called Muslims, their beliefs and practices are strongly steeped in their traditional ways of life.


Latest Prayer Updates:

Discipleship training

Please pray for the month-long discipleship training the Alagwa church is hosting, with the hope to plant a church in a neighbouring village. 18 delegates have already arrived from various places and people groups.

Pray for these believers who have travelled far and are eager to learn, that they will be able to see God’s truth and his goodness clearly despite Satan’s attempts to distract and delay. Pray for fruit from this training: that many will be mobilised to share the gospel in new places. Also pray for a lasting effect on the sending churches, that they would have a passion for the lost, and a vision to keep sending people out.

battle for a soul

An Alagwa friend called to say she would be unable to visit our village, because she was sick. When we discussed rescheduling she told me, “tomorrow I have church.” Praise Jesus! This friend is fighting a hard battle right now against the evil of this world. Please pray for her to have continued encounters with Christ. Even if we are unable to meet face to face, may she be able to feel and experience the presence of Jesus daily.

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