Prayer Profile
The Comorian of Mayotte.

[IMAGE] The Comorians (also known as the Mauri or the Mahorais) live on the tropical island of Mayotte. Located in the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and Mozambique, Africa, Mayotte is one of the four largest islands of the Comoros chain.

The Comorians living in Mayotte are a blend of settlers from the past: Iranian traders, mainland Africans, Arabs, and Malagasy. They make up 85,000 of the total 90,000 inhabitants of the island. Comorian communities can also be found in other parts of the Comoros chain as well as in Madagascar.

Three of the four largest Comoros islands declared their independence from France in 1975, but Mayotte chose to remain a French possession. Although the Comorian government considers Mayotte part of the Federal Republic of the Comoros, the people of Mayotte have voted to remain under French rule. The island is officially known as "The Territorial Collectivity of Mayotte."

What are their lives like?
Most of the islanders work as farmers or fishermen, while a few breed cattle, sheep, goats, and donkeys. A small number work in industry or in jobs relating to tourism.

The island of Mayotte is very poor and undeveloped. Due to the shortage of good farmland, much of the food must be imported. The basic diet of the Comorians consists of rice, potatoes, corn, fish, coconuts, and bananas. Other crops that are grown are sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, and pineapples.

Although young people wear Western style clothing, traditional clothing is still common among the adults. While in town, a Comorian man will typically wear a white cotton garment and a knee-length shirt, sometimes with a white jacket and white skull cap. Out of town, a long cloth sarong (colorful skirt) is worn. Most women wear long, colorful cotton dresses with bright shawls as face coverings. Others prefer wearing black robes that cover their heads.

Polygamy is an acceptable practice among the Comorians. Children are expected to help with family duties such as farming, fishing, and caring for the animals. For recreation they enjoy dancing, singing, and playing instruments, especially horns and drums.

About 60% of the Comorians live in cities; but whether in rural or urban areas, housing on the island is generally poor. Although French is the official language of Mayotte, Mauri is the native language spoken by the Comorians.

What are their beliefs?
The Comorians are 99.9% Shafiite Muslims. Surprisingly, however, mosque attendance is very low. Mixed with their Islamic practices, there is a strong involvement in occultism and spirit possession.

Traditionally, the Comorians have been very resistant to any kind of religious change; however, they are gradually becoming more indifferent.

What are their needs?
The physical needs of the Comorians are numerous. Major problems in Mayotte include poverty, disease, and hunger. Educational levels are low and only 68% of the population is literate. The economy is struggling and unemployment levels are very high. There is a shortage of hospitals and doctors, and many suffer from illnesses and chronic malnutrition. Hygiene is poor due to the fact that the Comorians have a poor water supply. Such problems contribute to a high death rate, especially among young children.

The spiritual needs of the Comorians are even greater. Though there is freedom of religion in Mayotte, evangelism is not well received by these Shafiite Muslims. Their commitment to Islam, coupled with involvement in occult practices, has made the Comorians difficult to reach.

Only portions of the Bible have been translated into Mauri. Although there are Christian broadcasts available on the island, there are only 17 known believers. Seventy percent (nearly 60,000) of the people having never once heard the Gospel message.

Prayer Points

  • Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to the island of Mayotte and share Christ with the Comorians.
  • Pray for the quick production of the Jesus film in Mauri, with an abundant response when it is shown.
  • Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the 17 Christians living among the Comorians.
  • Pray that God will raise up qualified linguists to complete translation of the Bible into Mauri.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of these Muslims towards the Gospel.
  • Pray for God to send Christian teachers and medical teams to work among the Comorians.
  • Pray that a strong local church will be raise up among the Comorians of Mayotte by the year 2000.

See also the following related groups:
the Mwali Comorian of Comoros; the Ngazija Comorian of Comoros; the Nzwani Comorian of Comoros; and the Ngazija Comorian of Madagascar.

Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.


  • People name: Comorian
  • Country: Mayotte
  • Their language: Mauri
  • Population: (1990) 73,300
    (1995) 85,000
    (2000) 95,900
  • Largest religion: Muslims (Shafi'ites) 99.9%
  • Christians: <1%
  • Church members: 17
  • Scriptures in their own language: Portions
  • Jesus Film in their own language: None
  • Christian broadcasts in their own language: Available
  • Mission agencies working among this people: 2
  • Persons who have heard the Gospel: 25,500 (30%) Those evangelized by local Christians: 2,600 (3%)
    Those evangelized from the outside: 22,900 (27%)
  • Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 59,500 (70%)
  • Country: Mayotte
  • Population: (1990) 77,600
    (1995) 90,000
    (2000) 101,600
  • Major peoples in size order: Comorian 94.4%
    French 2.5%
    Makua 1%
  • Major religions: Mulsims 96.3%
    Christians 3.2%
  • Number of denominations: 2

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Bethany World Prayer Center

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