The Banjar are an ancient people of mixed Dayak, Malay and Javanese ancestry living in southeastern Kalimantan, Indonesia. The Banjar have been called the "people of the water" because they live along Kalimantan's many rivers and depend on these waterways for their livelihood.
In addition to fishing, many Banjar work on farms and plantations. Trade, transportation and mining are also common occupations. Products produced in south Kalimantan include pepper, rice, rubber, plywood, sawn timber, rattan, frozen shrimp and crayfish, carpets and furniture, tree bark for making joss sticks and insect repellent, roots for making Javanese jamu and other traditional medicines, coal, crude oil, cacao, coconut, iron ore, kaolin, limestone, diamonds, gold and other precious stones. Most of these products are of export quality.
Many Banjar villages are located along Kalimantan's rivers, in swampy areas with thick undergrowth. Villages usually have a bridge, a least one road, several Islamic houses of worship, an elementary school, a junior high school, a cemetery and a marketplace. A mesjid or mosque is located near the center of the village not far from the river, with a large front door and sometimes a high tower.
Nearly all Banjar are Muslim. Islam influences every aspect of individual and family life among the Banjar. Islamic feasts and the Ramadan fast are strictly observed. Many Banjar prefer modern Islamic schools to schools provided by the government. When natural disasters occur, religious officials respond immediately. The government also considers Islam its primary ally in maintaining order and controlling crime.
Praise God for a few Banjar who have decided to follow Jesus.
Pray that Banjar followers of Jesus would boldly share the Good News with their family and friends.
Pray that other followers of Jesus in Kalimantan would develop an increasing burden to reach out to the Banjar.
Pray that followers of Jesus would find ways to serve the Banjar people, demonstrating God’s love in practical ways.
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