Some analysts attribute these traits to the widespread influence of Sufi Islam; Muslims comprise 90- to 95-percent of the country’s population. Among the Wolof people, one of Senegal’s largest ethnic groups, that percentage is even higher.
While these factors support stability, they also challenge Gospel growth.
“The literature really is the major way of sharing the Gospel individually,” Helen Williams of World Missionary Press says about New Testaments and Scripture booklets in widely-used languages.
“[However], one of the things about Senegal – because it is so closely tied to Islam and the Muslim culture – you have to develop relationships with people before they will trust you to accept something,” she explains.
“Much of it has to do with people not wanting to be seen with a Christian.”
Reaching the Wolof for Christ
World Missionary Press partners with Every Home for Christ and one of the few evangelical believers in Senegal to make God’s Word known. More about that here; the “partner profile” is at the bottom of the page.
“He’s from the Wolof tribe and he came to Christ after some family issues and struggles,” Williams says of WMP’s national coordinator.
The Wolof people remain highly unreached. There are many efforts underway to introduce the Wolof to Christ, but they have little known progress. WMP is striving to equip their partner so he can prayerfully make inroads in the Wolof community.
“We don’t have any literature currently in the Wolof language,” Williams says.
“So, we have been working with [our partner] over the last two or three years to get our booklet, How to Know God, into that language because [the booklet] was written with a Muslim in mind.”
Now, that translation project is nearing completion. “It’s currently on the field again with the Bible Society [in Senegal] for some reviews and clarifications in certain areas,” Williams says. Mass printing can begin once translators finalize the text and send it to WMP.
Help send Scripture to Senegal here. “Just designate [the gift] for printing for Senegal, and that will help us get this Wolof piece printed. It will also help us print more New Testaments in Arabic and French to send, as well as other literature,” Williams says.
Last year, World Missionary Press sent Arabic copies of the Gospel of John and a Bible study on Genesis to their field partner. Williams also coordinated the shipment of 40,000 New Testaments in Arabic and French.
“People will receive it [because] they are anxious to read the whole New Testament,” she explains.
“They have an interest in the person of Jesus Christ; they see Him as a prophet, but they will read [the New Testament].”
Most importantly, pray for WMP’s translation project and for the Gospel to penetrate the entire Wolof community. “[Pray] that this project would soon be completed and we’d be able to get it in print and onto the field for Every Home for Christ to use among the Wolof,” Williams requests.
“99% of them are Muslim and they’re a great part of the 16.5 million people in that nation.”
Header image is a representative stock photo obtained via Unsplash. Photo credit: Francesca Noemi Marconi.