The Zigua of Tanzania
Scripture: Pray the Zigua would, “Here the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’” (Jer 31:10)
Location: North-East Coastal Tanzania
History: It is believed that the Zigua fled East from their homeland to their current location on the coast to avoid the slave trade of the 18th century.
Culture: The Zigua are Bantu people. They are farmers growing sisal, a fibrous plant used to make rope and mats. They also grow sesame and corn. “In coastal villages we visited, they are more fishing oriented,” writes AIM missionary Jeremy, after a survey to learn more about the group. “The rural community of Komsanga, [which we visited], had very rudimentary houses and very little development. The central town of Miono, about 10 km away from Komsanga, has electricity, a hospital, shops, and restaurants. You don’t have to travel far out of this town to notice the dramatic change in apparent wealth, moving from brick houses with good tin roofs and electricity to mud walls and grass thatch without electricity or a close water source.”
The Zigua live in small houses are mud walls with grass thatch. These are quite small buildings, ranging in size from about 6 square meters (65 sqr. feet) to perhaps 33 square meters (360 sqr feet) and are grouped in small clusters of two to eight houses.
Religion: Islam is the primary religion of the Zigua. It is often mixed with African Traditional Religion which includes ancestor worship. Some Zigua have chosen to follow Christ, and the Joshua Project reports that 3% of the the Zigua are evangelical Christian
Engagement: There are other organizations that have been working in and amongst the Zigua people, sometimes for many years. For example the New Testament has been translated , the Jesus Film is available in Kizigua as well as other resources. IMB and other organizations are currently engaged or are starting engagement as well.
Latest Prayer Updates:
Tanzania is one of the few countries in the world that has kept its schools open, and among the Zigua one small Christian school is holding forth the word of life in a Muslim community. Pray for many families to come to faith in Jesus the Christ through the influence and instruction of that school and the Tanzanian believers who run it.
Pray that the Lord will sustain and encourage the few Christians who still live among the Zigua and continue trying to share the gospel with them. Pray for the believers who have hidden their faith to confess Christ openly. Pray for the salvation of those who have been listening to the Word of God and sending their children to the Christian school.