The Soninke originate from West Africa but over 40,000 have migrated to France. Many of them were farmers, merchants or travelers prior to migrating to Europe. The Soninke hold their traditions such as language, marriage, and religion very closely. There are no known believers among the Soninke in France. The Soninke follow Islam and blend animism in their Islamic practices.
Engagement // What’s Happening Now
“Kadiatou is the oldest of five siblings. She is first in her class, but at home the weight of culture and family tradition is strong. As a Soninke child, she wears a head covering and goes to Quranic school. Since 2004 we have been praying for her family who, like many other Soninke families, lives in squalid conditions in a welfare hotel. We have a favorable relationship with the whole family and are often invited to share times of friendship with them. Kadiatou likes to come and discover biblical truths with us, and she often asks many questions.”
Learn more about the work being done in Europe on the Europe’s Children website.
Sustainability // The Bigger Story
The leadership team of AGWM Europe has worked arduously to develop a strategy to reach immigrants in Europe. Greg Mundis, AGWM Executive Director, states in the article “Europe It’s not What You Think”,
“I’m glad God gives us revelation that surpasses our feeble attempts to fix problems on our own. Government responses to immigration, such as economic and social planning, will always fall short of the Holy Spirit’s divine guidance of the Church. God sets people and events in order. As He draws together events and trends, He brings us to a point where we can see what He is doing through eyes of faith. Even today God is positioning us to meet the ongoing challenge. He is calling us to share the gospel with people from every conceivable background. The core of the Great Commission is that every ethnic group must hear the gospel. This includes both Europeans and immigrants.”
To join in reaching the Soninke in France visit AGWM Europe.
Partnership // Move Beyond
Please spend a few minutes in prayer for:
- Pray for Soninke children, that those in France may hear about the love of God.
- Pray French Christians would extend hospitality and grace to Soninke neighbors.
- Pray God would use Christian teachers to inspire Soninke children to seek God.
Entrepreneurs: Kadiatou’s family’s living situation is common. The French government has built cheap concrete block apartments to house West African immigrants. The Soninke live in the foyers in unsanitary conditions and work for minimum wages.
Readers, Writers, Speakers: Teaching French may provide a way to strengthen Soninke families. Husbands who previously would not allow their wives to attend language classes are now doing so, fearing that the women may be deported if they don’t speak French.
Problem Solvers: Polygamy, high birthrates, illiteracy and female circumcision are part of Soninke culture. All of these traditions are abhorrent to the French. How might you help build bridges for the Soninke by addressing these issues?