Prayer Profile
The Ngazija Comorian of the Comoros

[IMAGE] The Comorians (also known as the Mauri or the Mahorais) live on a group of islands in the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and Mozambique, Africa. The Comoros chain consists of four main islands plus several smaller ones. These islands, with a population that is approaching 28,000, are officially known as the "Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros."

Until 1975, all the islands belonged to France. At that time, the three largest islands declared their independence; but Mayotte, the fourth island, chose to remain a French possession.

The Comorians are a blend of settlers from the past: Iranian traders, mainland Africans, Arabs, and Malagasy. Comorian communities can be found on all of the islands in the Comoros chain as well as in Madagascar. Due to the poor economic conditions, the islands receive monetary and technical support from other countries.

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 Comoros Island is very poor and undeveloped. 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 27% of the Comorians live in cities; but whether in rural or urban areas, housing on the island is generally poor. Although French and Arabic are the official languages of the island Comoros, Swahili 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 on Comoros Islands include poverty, disease, and hunger. Educational levels are low and only 46% 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 on the islands, 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.

There are presently two mission agencies working among the Comorians. Unfortunately, their resources are limited. Only portions of the Bible have yet been translated into Swahili. Traditional Islamic mentality has made the people difficult to reach. Consequently, there are only 55 known Comorian believers.

Prayer Points

  • Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to the Comoros Islands and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for the quick production of the Jesus film in Swahili, with an abundant response when it is shown.
  • Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the fifty-five known Comorian believers.
  • Pray that God will raise up qualified linguists to complete translation of the Bible into Swahili.
  • 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 at least one strong local church will be planted on each of the Comoros Islands by the year 2000.

See also the following related groups:
the Comorian of Mayotte; the Mwali 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: Comoros
  • Their language: Ngazija
  • Population: (1990) 227,900
    (1995) 275,700
    (2000) 331,100
  • Largest religion: Muslims (Shafi'ites) 99.9%
  • Christians: <1%
  • Church members: 55
  • 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: 85,500 (31%) Those evangelized by local Christians: 8,300 (3%)
    Those evangelized from the outside: 77,200 (28%)
  • Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 190,200 (69%)
  • Country: Comoros
  • Population: (1990) 465,600
    (1995) 563,100
    (2000) 676,400
  • Major peoples in size order: Comorian (Ngazija) 48.9%
    Comorian (Nzwani) 43.7%
    Comorian (Mwali) 4.5%
    Makua 1.6%
  • Major religions: Muslim 99.3%
    Christian 0.6%
    Bahai 0.1%
  • Number of denominations: 6

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Bethany World Prayer Center

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