There are 120 tribes in Tanzania with the largest being the Sukuma who number about one million. Since there are over 45,000,000 people in Tanzania, even the largest tribe is just one/forty-fifth of the population. This is why Tanzania has never had the kind of tribe-on-tribe violence that has killed so many in Kenya and Rwanda. Probably the most recognizable tribe is the Maasai who are mainly nomadic and travel back and forth across the Kenya border. These are featured in almost every advertisement about Tanzania (and Kenya). A large number of Maasai have converted to Christianity in the last one hundred years, and the Methodists in Tanzania and Kenya have several churches that are solely Maasai (see picture at the right). When a large number of Maasai had been converted back in the fifties, they decided that they needed a creed or statement of faith that was uniquely theirs. They wrote the creed below around 1960, and I find it to be deep, profound, and a model for how almost every Christian should believe and act. I offer it here for you to read and hopefully incorporate into your personal faith:
The Maasai Creed
1. We believe in the one High God, who out of love created the beautiful world and everything good in it. He created humans and wanted humans to be happy in the world. God loves the world and every nation and tribe on the earth. We have known this High God in the darkness, and now we know him in the light. God promised in the book of his word, the Bible, that he would save the world and all the nations and tribes.
2. We believe that God made good his promise by sending his son, Jesus Christ, a man in the flesh, a Jew by tribe, born poor in a little village, who left his home and was always on safari doing good, curing people by the power of God, teaching about God and man, showing that the meaning of religion is love. He was rejected by his people, tortured and nailed hands and feet to a cross, and died. He lay buried in the grave, but the hyenas did not touch him, and on the third day, he rose from the grave. He ascended to the skies. He is the Lord.
3. We believe that all our sins are forgiven through him. All who have faith in him must be sorry for their sins, be baptized in the Holy Spirit of God, live the rules of love, and share the bread together in love, to announce the good news to others until Jesus comes again. We are waiting for him. He is alive. He lives. This we believe. Amen.
This is also how I have come to believe. It just makes sense.