Acholi of United States

People Group Info

Total Population: 2,300

ROP3 Code: 100042
IMB Affinity Group: Sub-Saharan African Peoples
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan African
People Cluster: Nilotic
Language: Acoli - (ach)
Religion: Ethnic Religions
Country of Origin: South Sudan

Photo courtesy of Joshua Project.
By Akena Solomon

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Majority Located Where

  Portland-South Portland, ME - 460

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Brief Profile

The Acholi, also spelled Acholi and called Gang or Shuli, are a Luo Nilotic people from South Sudan.

They speak a Western Nilotic language of the Eastern Sudanic branch of the Nilo-Saharan family and are culturally and historically related to their neighbors, the Lango.

The Acholi are Protestant, Catholic and, in lesser numbers, Muslim. Nevertheless, the traditional belief in guardian and ancestor spirits remains strong, though it is often described in Christian or Islamic terms.

The Acholi believe in a supreme being called Jok and in another god, Lubanga, who is the cause of evil. The Acholi also worship the spirits of the dead and believe that they help the surviving members of the family if they are treated well.

Dance is very much a part of the Acholi culture. To learn more, visit the Portland Obbo Community facebook page.

Please note: The Sudanese people group cluster, numbering over 100,000, includes the Acholi, Anuak, Azande, Bari, Central Dinka, Jur Modo, Kaliko, Mabaan, Madi, Moru, Nuer, Shilluk, plus several other minority people groups. They are socially, culturally, linguistically, and religiously diverse with each having their own unique people group identity.

Prayer Points

  • Pray that Acholi will hear and accept a clear and contextualized form of the gospel.
  • Pray that God will work in the hearts and minds of Acholi to discover the truth of allowing Christ to influence the affairs of their daily life.


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Country City Metro Area Name State / Prov. Baseline Population
United StatesPortlandPortland-South PortlandME460