Who are the Karimojong people?
The Karimojong live in Karamoja, northeast Uganda. Historically they have been marginalised and ignored. This isolation is brought about through their reputed fierceness. Until recently, they have been defined by high levels of internal conflict and cattle raiding, leading to them being widely feared. This, along with Karimojong resistance to agriculture, has contributed to a general lack of development. More recently Karamoja has been considered to be a safe area, and the Ugandan government are encouraging the Karimojong to engage in farming practices.
What do they believe?
While many of the Karimojong will say that they are ‘Christian’, this is usually not a reflection of a transformed life. For the most part, Christianity is viewed as another way to protect oneself from evil or to bring prosperity, alongside their existing African religions. The Karimojong are a religious people, believing in spirits and many gods. Primarily they believe in a supreme god, but this god is mysterious, not personal, and is responsible for bringing evil into the world as well as good.
What is being done to reach them?
There are currently two Focus teams that started at the beginning of 2017, one based in Moroto (led by Lyle and Ingrid Lathrop), and one based in Kotido. Both teams will be working in varying ministry platforms and venues, building relationships, modelling incarnational living and making disciples. They will also be mobilising local churches to reach the unreached among the Karimojong.