Pray for the unreached Antakarana

Who are the Antakarana?

The Antakarana, who are originally of mixed Austronesian, African and Arab ancestry, settled in the far north of Madagascar in the 12th century. They are called ‘People of the White Coral Rocks’ as they live in a geographically isolated, rocky place. Some work as coastal fishermen and those in inland villages harvest rice, raise cattle and grow crops on a small scale. Others work in factories and do other work in towns. They see themselves as Antakarana before they consider themselves Muslim and are proud of their history and culture.

What do they believe?

During the Merina invasion, when the Antakarana were in danger of being wiped out, they hid in caves for over a year. Life was difficult and many died. Their King prayed that if his people should survive, they would embrace Islam. They found refuge on the island of Nosy Mitsio and converted to Islam in the 1840s. Now they mix folk Islam with animistic beliefs, adhering to many ‘taboos’ in their daily lives.

What is being done to reach them?

The history of the Antakarana means that they have not accessed the scriptures available in the Merina dialect. At the moment, an organisation called SIL are in the process of translating the gospel of Luke. Pray the Antakarana would have ears to hear the Good News in their own language. A TIMO team went to serve among them on the island of Nosy Mitsio from 2014-16. Now previous TIMO team members continue to minister there, alongside Malagasy missionaries.

Prayer from AIM’s Daily Prayer:

Increasingly the Antakarana people are spreading across northern Madagascar as they seek work. Pray that as they mix with others from different people groups, their historic mistrust of other peoples would be broken down and that, as a consequence, they’d be open to hearing the gospel from other Malagasy people, as well as to reading Scripture in other Malagasy dialects.

Give thanks that the Jesus Film is available in the Antakarana dialect in Madagascar. Pray for opportunities to show the film and that the Antakarana would not watch it just for the entertainment but would allow the truth of the story to affect their hearts. Pray that in watching the whole gospel unfold they would see the hope that Jesus offers and recognise what they are missing in their lives.

Malagasy missionaries Petera and Francine have been involved in reaching Antakarana children with Bible studies. Muslim leaders have responded by encouraging parents to teach the young boys Muslim prayers. Pray for the spiritual battle that is being waged for the hearts of the young ones. Pray that their parents would turn to the Lord Jesus too and be able to rebuff the influence of Islamic leaders with grace and truth.

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