Berber, Kabyle in France

Population

727,000

Christian

3.0%

Evangelical

1.5%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Profile Source: Bethany World Prayer Center


Introduction / History

The Kabyle are Berbers located primarily in Morocco, Tunisia, western Libya, and the coastal mountain regions of northern Algeria. The Africans call this entire region of North Africa Maghrib. "Berber" comes from an Arabic name for the aboriginal people west and south of Egypt.

The Kabyle live in the rugged, well-watered al-Quabail Mountains. These inaccessible peaks (some as high as 7,000 feet) have long been a refuge for the Berbers, forming a base of resistance against the Romans, Vandals, Byzantine, and Arabs.

Emigration is becoming more common among the Berbers, and it is estimated that several million now live in European cities. More than 500,000 Kabyle have migrated to France. In the 1980's, however, the European labor market closed to new workers.


What are Their Lives Like?

In general, the Kabyle are sturdy, thrifty, hospitable lovers of the soil. They are also said to be proud, shrewd, persistent, and loyal. In particular, a passion for independence is deeply ingrained in their culture. Most memorable in their history was the great Kabyle uprising in 1871, which was suppressed by the French.

In Africa, most Kabyle are shepherds and farmers. For unemployed Kabyle, immigration to Europe was once an option, but that choice has declined in the late twentieth century due to restrictions on immigration. However, decades of immigration have left a large community in France. For some, service in the army and working in the factories of France during World War I were avenues of migration. When the war ended, many remained in France. Others arrived after World War II when there was a labor shortage in France. Recently, additional Kabyle went as merchants, since France is one of the most important trading partners of North Africa.

As the number of immigrants in France increased, so did various kinds of racial discrimination, including problems in housing and unemployment. Initially, most of the immigrants were males who lived in low-standard hostels and worked at low-paying jobs such as construction workers, street cleaners, miners, or manual laborers in steel assembly. With the beginning of economic stress in 1974, many French began to reclaim these jobs; thus, the government began to restrict immigration.

Preserving the family is important to the Kabyle. Even when a family member is forced by economic or social reasons to migrate to other countries, family ties remain strong. Family bonds are also strengthened by their marriage customs and inheritance rights. Often, an entire family lives in one small room, sharing everything. The father is the head of the family, and the family ancestry is traced through the males.

Traditional Kabyle dress for men includes a loosely flowing robe, a woolen lariat draped over a woolen cap, and a broad-brimmed straw hat. Women wear brightly colored cotton garments, usually woven in wavy stripes. Silk scarves cover their heads.


What are Their Beliefs?

Although the Kabyle are practically all Muslims, 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. Weddings are lengthy celebrations that often last several days.


What are Their Needs?

Many Kabyle are searching for answers beyond Muslim fundamentalism. Those in North Africa do not have the freedom to follow Christianity, but those in France do. Although a number have responded to recent Christian programs produced in France, there are still many who remain unreached.

The New Testament and the Jesus film are available to the Kabyle in their own language. However, the stronghold of Islam must first be broken through prayer before this people can be reached with the Gospel.


Prayer Points

* Ask the Lord to burden the hearts of French Christians for the Kabyle who live among them.
* Pray that the Jesus film will effectively reveal the person of Jesus to the Kabyle.
* Ask the Lord to save key leaders among the Kabyle who will boldly declare the Gospel.
* Pray that signs and wonders will follow the Kabyle believers as they share Christ with their families and friends.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Kabyle church for the glory of His name!



Profile Source: Bethany World Prayer Center Copyrighted ©: Yes Used with permission
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Country France
Continent Europe
Region Western Europe
10/40 Window No
Location in Country
People Group Map Berber, Kabyle in France

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People Name General Berber, Kabyle
People Name in Country Berber, Kabyle
ROP3 Code 104365
Joshua Project People ID 12399
Indigenous Yes
Population in France 727,000
Least-Reached Yes
Alternate Names for People Group Greater Kabyle, Kabyle, Greater, North African Berber, We,
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Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Kabyle 727,460
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Affinity Bloc Arab World
People Cluster Berber-Kabyle
People Name General Berber, Kabyle
Ethnic Code CMT32c
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Largest Religion Islam
Buddhism
0.00%
Christianity
3.0%    ( Evangelical  1.5% )
Ethnic Religions
0.00%
Hinduism
0.00%
Islam
97.00%
Non-Religious
0.00%
Other / Small
0.00%
Unknown
0.00%
Christian Segments
Anglican
0.00%
Independent
0.00%
Protestant
10.00%
Orthodox
0.00%
Other Christian
0.00%
Roman Catholic
90.00%
Photo Source: Hussein Abdallahh Creative Commons: Yes
Map Source: Bethany World Prayer Center Copyrighted ©: Yes
Profile Source:
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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