The Berbers are a nomadic people group indigenous to the North Africa Maghrib. In attempts to preserve Berber culture, they took refuge in the Atlas Mountains from the Romans, Vandals, Byzantine, and the Arabs. Though the Maghrib was taken over by Muslims in A.D. 670-700, the Berber hold a strong affinity for their Berber nationality, and their desire for independence is ingrained in their culture.
Most Berbers are nomadic farmers and shepherds. Their villages consist of close-knit family groups. Their local governments are led by the jumaa (village council) which consists of all adult males. Their political and social organizations, however, will probably look different in a country like Italy. There are no known Christian Berbers, and they are almost entirely Muslim.
Engagement // What’s Happening Now
Greg Mundis stated in the article, “Europe: It’s Not What You Think,” concerning the influx of immigrants in Europe, “Of these new residents, the majority are from non-Christian backgrounds. Since the evangelical population in Europe is less than 3 percent, believers face an ever-increasing challenge to reach people with the gospel.” However, he mentions the growing number of Pentecostal churches. He states that because of the revivals in Latin America and Africa, many of their people are moving to Europe to plant churches.
To join in reaching the Berber Shawiya’s in Italy visit Europe Missions.
Sustainability // The Bigger Story
According to the CIA World Factbook, there are anywhere from 800,000 to 1 million Muslims in Italy and there are approximately 39,000 Berber Shawiya. There are 1300 Italian AG churches and 550 pastors. Pray God orchestrates opportunities for the churches and pastors in Italy to engage the Berber Shawiya.
Partnership // Move Beyond
Please spend a few minutes in prayer for:
- As numerous Muslim immigrants come to Europe, Pray God sends even more missionaries and church planters to see the need.
- Pray for the Berber Shawiya in Italy, that God will reveal himself to them whether it be by churches, believers, or through miracles.
- Pray that God softens the hearts of Berber to the message.
Interested in more opportunities? Visit the Wide Open website.