The Digo are a community of 360,000 people found in the coast province of Kenya, from Mombasa all the way down to Tanga in Tanzania. They are the second largest of nine coastal tribes known as the Mijikenda and the only one that is almost 99.9% of the population that is non-Christian. African Traditional Religion still has a strong influence and although Islam has failed to change many traditional beliefs it has increased the antagonism to Christianity.
The Digo speak chidigo, which is a Bantu language closely related to both Swahili and the other Mijikenda languages. Even though many are bilingual in Swahili because of the education system they do not use it when discussing fundamental or emotional issues. In particular in rural areas Digo is used in the home almost exclusively. Traditionally the Digo believed in a high God named “Mlungu” and a variety of evil spirits. They often made offerings to the spirits in times of sickness. Much of this belief in spirits and ancestor worship is still present today but covered by a veneer of Islam. Witch doctors are still active and in demand.
BTL began the work of translation in this community in 1987. The Digo New Testament was completed and launched in December 2007. About 300 believers’ in house churches are making use of the New Testament but the cry is also to have the Old Testament Scriptures’. That cry has been heard and the Digo full Bible has been completed and published awaiting dedication on May 22, 2021.
Read more about Digo Literacy and Culture at: https://chidigo.com
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Bible Translation & Literacy is a Christian organization that was established in 1981 to facilitate Bible translation.