Bernde in Chad

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Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Bernde
Country: Chad
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 10,000
World Population: 10,000
Primary Language: Morom
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Guera-Naba of Chad
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Bernde have their own language of Morom. Only Gospel Recordings are currently available in Morom. Chad became independent from France in 1960. Unfortunately, since that date Chad has seen a series of civil wars, the assassinations and arrests of political leaders, coups and wars with Libya and Sudan. A quarter of Chad’s income is aid from the UN, NGOs, France, China and the USA. International agencies consider Chad to be a failed state. Life expectancy in Chad is under 50 years old. Less than 40% of the people are able to read and write. The two official languages of Chad are French and Arabic. Chadians speak over 100 languages and dialects. In 2003 Chad became an oil exporting nation. Most of the revenue from the oil went to buying weapons and for the salaries of the Chadian military, not for the welfare of the Chadian people. The Bernde people live in a dry, mountainous region of southcentral Chad, primarily in the town of Morom. According to tradition this town was founded before the 12th century.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Bernde are subsistence farmers living in land subject to draughts. When the rains are plentiful the Bernde thrive. When the rains don’t come, they face starvation. The Bernde cultivate millet, sorghum, maize, beans, and peanuts during the rainy season. The Bernde have no modern amenities like clean, running water or electricity. Elders rule the Bernde villages. A man may have up to four wives if he can afford them. The norm is having one spouse. Families arrange marriages with girls getting married at a young age. The Bernde marry within their group. Sons inherit their father’s property. The Bernde tend to have many children. Unfortunately, many children do not live to see their tenth birthday due to lack of modern medicine and a regular source of clean water. There are few if any known believers among the Bernde.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Bernde have been adherents of Sunni Islam for centuries. The Bernde’s brand of Islam is mixed with folk religion and animism. There are churches in some of the surrounding communities, but none in their villages. Sunni Muslims try to obey the teachings of the Koran and the prophet Mohammad. Sunnis believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. However, Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, using deceit, slandering, and making idols. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.

What Are Their Needs?

The Bernde need access to a nearby source of clean water. Solar panels can help power cell phone and appliances. Most Bernde villages lack a school for their children. Teams of workers can bring the benefits of modern medicine to the Bernde.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to send workers to serve among the Bernde. Pray that Bernde parents will be able to provide for their children. Pray that Christians can help drill wells for the Bernde so they will have a sufficient supply of clean water. Pray that the Bible and Christian resources will be translated into the Morom language. Pray for a movement to Christ among the Bernde people.

Text Source:   Joshua Project