Berber, Imazighen in United States

Berber, Imazighen
Photo Source:  Tussna - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
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People Name: Berber, Imazighen
Country: United States
10/40 Window: No
Population: 24,000
World Population: 4,768,200
Primary Language: Tamazight, Central Atlas
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.50 %
Evangelicals: 0.40 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Berber-Shilha
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Berbers are divided by subgroup, yet the generic term that they prefer is Imazighen, meaning, "Free men." Freedom and independence is a high goal of these people, who are much better known as Berbers, a term meaning "barbarians" slapped on them by the Roman Empire. Today the term Berber is so well-engrained that people seldom know who they are without using this derogatory term. The Imazighen Berbers live primarily in the beautiful, wooded High Atlas and Middle Atlas Mountains of Central Morocco. However, a large number of them also live on the slopes of the Atlas Mountains in eastern Algeria, near Morocco's border. Their Diaspora is mainly in France and other European countries, but a small number have made their way to the United States.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Weddings are lengthy celebrations. The father is the head of the family, and they trace their ancestry through the males. The family structure is of an authoritarian democracy. While the father controls all household matters, he must get the consensus of the rest of the family as well. They consider banishment from the family to be the ultimate punishment. The family structure is being challenged in the urban US.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Although the Imazighen are almost completely Muslim, they still retain many of their traditional beliefs, such as saint worship. They usually celebrate the Muslim holidays, visiting friends and neighbors during these festive times. They celebrate their events with other Muslim communities in the US.

What Are Their Needs?

Imazighen Berbers need the chance to put their identity in Jesus Christ and enjoy his blessings in this life and in the life to come. Someone needs to go to them with the life-changing gospel.

Prayer Points

Pray for a spiritual hunger among Imazighen Berbers that will lead them to the cross and the empty grave. Pray for Imazighen Berbers in Algeria to put their faith and hope in Christ, paving the way for a Disciple Making Movement. Pray for loving workers to go to Imazighen leaders and find persons of peace who will welcome them into their communities with the gospel.

Text Source:   Joshua Project