WHAT do the Mandinka BELIEVE?

The majority of Mandinkas are Muslims who follow the teachings of Mohammed, the holy prophet of Islam, and the Qu'ran, the holy book of Islam. Mandinkas will recite chapters of the Qu'ran in Arabic. For the Mandinka Muslim, God's power resides in the utterance of the words, not in the understanding of the language. Few Mandinkas understand the Arabic language.

Most MNKs practice a mix of Islam and traditional superstitious practices. They live fearfully in a world dominated by evil spirits and witches. These spirits can be controlled only through the power of a "marabout" who knows the protective formulas. No important decision is made without first consulting the marabout. Marabouts, who have some Islamic training, write Qu'ranic verses on slips of paper and sew them into leather pouches; these are then sold and worn as protective amulets by men, women, and children.Mandinka Muslims are convinced the Bible has become corrupted because it contradicts the Qu'ran, and the sayings of Mohammed.

The few MNKs who have converted to Christianity are viewed as traitors to Mandinka society, to their heritage, and to their ancestors. Often they are driven from their compounds and villages, rejected by their families.

The Jesus of the Qu'ran is a great prophet. But the concept of Christ as fully human and fully divine escapes them completely; they do not believe that man can know God personally.


MNKs will pray at least three times every day, if not the Islamic obligatory five times. The first is at dawn, the second 10:00 AM, the third 2:00 PM, the fourth at dusk, and the fifth about 8:00 PM.. Praying in a group signifies the solidarity of Islam. Complete strangers will stand shoulder-to-shoulder, praying together in a line. So long as you are able to say the prayers correctly, and" do" the prayers correctly, you are never a "stranger" in Islam.

 

 

REACHING the Mandinka

Chronological Bible teachings are currently being aired weekly on local radio stations, as well as one-minute radio spot Scripture "ads". Rural villages have had little access to the Gospel; these radio broadcasts are crucial.

The Mandinka are an unreached, unevangelized people group. Of the 1.3 million MNKs in the world, fewer than 50 believers have been identified. Modern evangelical missions among the MNK began in the 1960s. Due to local government visa restrictions, evangelism has been carried out mainly through social and development programs. Four Mission groups, with about 20 missionaries, currently work in the Mandinka language. Two Mission groups have projected work among the Mandinka and are awaiting personnel.

The Jesus film, audio and written tracts, and the New Testament in Roman script are available; the Old Testament is in progress. Unfortunately less than 15% of MNKs can read Roman script. Production of Scripture in Arabic script/Mandinka language is in progress. The example on the right is Psalm 8, Mandinka language, Arabic script.

Evangelism among the MNK is slow. Just like the Ethiopian eunuch, the MNK need to have Scripture explained to them.

450,000 MNKs live in The Gambia;
650,000 living in southern Senegal;
150,000 living in Guinea-Bissau.

Armed political conflict continues to be a factor in the placement of personnel both in southern Senegal and Guinea-Bissau. Eight out of ten Mandinka still have not heard the Good News. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Romans 10:14-15

 

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