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  • Writer's pictureJill Ball

Music & Maps

The prayer that was given to us by Our Lord, it is sung throughout the world, in thousands of different languages and in every Christian denomination.

This post is celebrating this prayer and the Worldwide Church,

with its many different expressions, languages and songs.

Enjoy the rich variety & you can even join in. Most of us will know the words.

Our Father, who is in Heaven,

Holy is your name.

Your Kingdom come.

Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us today our daily bread,

and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Do not lead us into the time of trial,

but deliver us from evil.

Yours Lord, is the Kingdom, the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.


The words may be familiar, but this is the most powerful prayer in the world.

1. Aramaic

Aramaic was Jesus' mother tongue and it became the lingua franca throughout much of the ancient world in the Middle East. There are still minority groups who speak a dialect today. It is estimated that up to 1 million people speak a neo-Aramaic language as their native tongue.*

Sadly, during the recent wars many of these communities have been scattered. Some of these minority Christian groups have persevered for nearly two thousand years, and deserve the respect and thanks of the global Church.

You can read some of their stories in Deliver us

2. Hindi - Urdu

Hindi and Urdu are very similar and there are approximately 250 000 000 native speakers today, with and extra of about 500 000 000 people who speak it as a second language.*

Hindi is written in a Indian script and Urdu in one which is similar to Persian or Arabic.

There is a strong tradition that the disciple Thomas travelled to India to share his personal stories of being with Jesus Christ.

India is a huge country with believers from most of the main religions of the world:

Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains and Christians.

3. English

More people can speak English than any other language and it has become the most important international language spoken today. As many as 1 750 000 000 people understand it and there are up to 400 000 000 native English speakers.*

After the Romans left England, there was a period of instability, with frequent Viking raids and tribal infighting. In 597 AD St Augustine brought the good news to Southern England, sent by the Pope. Just before this St Columba had settled in Iona, Scotland, bringing a Celtic Christianity from Ireland. In the seventh century, Celtic Christian monks came from Iona to Northumberland, England with the gospel.

Settlers in Australia, America, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa spread Christianity and English throughout the world. As the British Empire reached out across the globe, missionaries went alongside the traders and soldiers. The legacy was both harmful and helpful.

It was said that the sun never set on the British Empire.

English is the official language but not the majority one in the light blue areas

4. Swahili

Swahili is spoken in many Central and Eastern African nations, often as a second or third language. There are as many as 90 million speakers of Swahili. It has borrowed from Arabic as there was extensive trade with the Arabic world, which sadly also included slave trading.

There were many early churches in North Africa, Egypt and Ethiopia. Christianity came to central and Eastern Africa later with both Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries, from the fifteenth century onwards.

Nowadays, much of sub-Saharan Africa is Christian, while the north of the continent has many Muslims.

5. Turkish

The original, nomadic, Turkish tribe was probably displaced by their neighbours, the Mongols. The Turkic tribes moved east and became the dominant military power in the region. The Khazars, one Turkish tribe accepted Judaism, but all the Turkic groups except two have become predominately Muslim in time.

Turkish was spoken throughout The Ottoman Empire and there are now up to 76 million native speakers. There are 32 documented Turkic languages and is the mother tongue for around 170 million people.*

There are still many tribes to the East of Turkey, with Turkish origins.

A map showing the extent of the Ottoman Empire
Extent of the Ottoman Empire

6. Russian

Russian is spoken by around 150 000 000 people as their first language and it is estimated that a further 110 000 000 speak it as a second language*. Despite decades of communist rule, there has been a resurgence of the popularity of the Russian Orthodox Church.

St Olga of Kiev was one of the earliest converts to Christianity, which had spread there from Constantinople and the Byzantine Orthodox Church.

If you enjoyed this selection of music, why not listen to some True Love Songs

* All the facts about languages have been taken from Wikipedia.

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