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Tanzania and Swahili

Tanzania Sunday school

About 46 percent of the people in Tanzania are Christians, and about 37 percent are Muslims. Others follow tribal religions. The Bible has not yet been translated into the languages of some Tanzanian tribes.

Growing Conflict
Some radical Muslims give Christians a hard time. Radical Islam is spreading from northern Africa into Tanzania. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.)

On the island of Zanzibar where most of the people are Muslims, Christians have faced persecution for a long time. People who leave Islam to follow Jesus sometimes have to flee their homes when family members kick them out.

But in recent times, Christians on the mainland of Tanzania are having the same kinds of problems. Riots have broken out in some places, and churches have been burned.

Swahili, also called Kiswahili, is the main language of Tanzania.

Learn Some Swahili Words
(Pronunciations are approximate.)

The first word in each group below is the English word, and the second is the Swahili word. The third part tells how to pronounce the Swahili word.

Hello. Jambo. JAHM-boh
Yes. Ndiyo. Uhn-DEE-yoh
No. Hapana. Hah-PAH-nah
Please. Tafadhali. TAH-fuh-DAH-lee
Thank you very much. Asante sana. Uh-SAHN-teh SAH-nuh


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