DIGO

"Digo homeland is in the coastal area and hills of East Africa from Mombasa, Kenya, south to Tanga, Tanzania. The area is mainly dispersed family homesteads surrounded by cultivated fields rather than close-knit villages. Digo is the second largest of nine tribes known as the Mijikenda (nine cities).

As they are the only Mijikenda tribe to be almost totally Muslim the Digo often consider themselves superior to other Africans, especially the neighbouring Paruma. Oral tradition says that the Mijikenda integrated in the 16th and 17th centuries from Shingwaya in present day Somalia, under pressure from the Galla people, but no written record confirms this.

The Digo converted to Islam around 1900, possibly to set themselves apart from other Africans and became ""middle men"" between the Arabs and Africans.

Animism has a strong influence: people hold singing and prayer ceremonies and wear charms to appease a variety of spirits. Though Islam has not changed the traditional beliefs, its influence is increasing, as can be seen from antagonism towards Christianity and the changing of inheritance, which used to come through the mother's side of the family and now comes through the father.

Today, being Muslim is part of Digo identity. Most Digo live on small farms and produce only enough for survival being hardworking is associated with a slave background and success is attributed to witchcraft, so there is little motivation to improve techniques. Some earn extra money by fishing in the ocean, some move into the city to work.

Unemployment is a big problem and divorce and single parenthood are increasing.

The first Christians arrived in the 1890's but there has been little response among the Digo in Kenya, probably because Islam and traditional beliefs are strong As many are aware that traditional Digo society is breaking down with the influence of Islam and the modern world it may be possible, through the building of a Digo Christian community, to show people the value of the Gospel in changing hearts and reconciling relationships, especially within the family."

* Country: Kenya

* Percent Christian: 82.1%

* Percent Evangelical: 34%

* Population (Year): 30.8 million (1995)

* Major Religion: Christianity

* Openness to Missionaries: Open"

1. HAVE THEY HEARD THE GOSPEL?

Ratio of pastors/evangelists to population: 1 pastor or evangelist for every 50,000 persons (total pastors and evangelists - 6)

Ratio of missionaries to population: 1 missionary for every 20,000 persons (total missionaries - 16)

Who is Jesus Christ to them?

0.5% Believe Jesus is the Son of God and are nominally Christians0.5% Believe in the Son of God and have accepted him as their savior99.5% Believe Jesus is a Prophet, Teacher, a Good Man, but not God's Son99.5% Believe in local traditional religion rather than in Jesus0% Have never heard His name

2. HAVE THEY RESPONDED TO THE GOSPEL?

There has been very little response to the Gospel, with perhaps only 50 true believers in Kenya.

3. DO THEY HAVE A CHURCH?

Ratio of churches to population: 1 church for every ? persons very few churches specifically for Digo Christians

Total number of communities (cities, towns, villages): most villages have a church but these are mainly attended by people who have moved into the area from outside

4. DO THEY HAVE THE WORD OF GOD TRANSLATED INTO THEIR MOTHER TONGUE?

Genesis was published 1993 and work is in progress on Luke.

5. ANY HINDRANCES TO SCRIPTURE DISTRIBUTION?

Literacy Rate: 60%Since there is so little written Chidigo, few people can read it. There would probably be opposition from strong Muslims.

6. WHAT OTHER FORMS OF GOSPEL PRESENTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE?

Recordings: YesLiterature: NoFilms: NoRadio: NoVideo: NoAudio-Visual: No

7. ARE THEY RECEPTIVE TO CHANGE AND TO CHRISTIANITY?

Younger people, who have gone to school, mixed with those of different backgrounds, and studied Islam as an academic subject rather than a way of life, may be more open, but older people are not. People often accept that they were born into Islam and do not think that they have the option of choosing their religion. Fewer women than men have responded, possibly because their involvement with spirits has been more intense and harder to break free from.

8. IS OUTSIDE (CROSS-CULTURAL) ASSISTANCE REQUIRED FROM MISSIONARIES?

Yes, to help with financial and medical needs."

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