Kabyle Berber in Belgium

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Kabyle are a North African Berber tribe 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. During the third century, the Romans named the people of the Maghrib Berber, which means "barbarian." The Kabyle live in the rugged, well-watered al-Quabail Mountains. These inaccessible peaks have long been a refuge for the Berbers against the Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, and Arabs. Emigration is becoming more common among the Berbers, and several million now live in Europe. Thousands from the Kabyle group have migrated to Belgium, the "crossroads of Europe." Some arrived after World War II when there was a labor shortage in Belgium. Still others went as merchants since Belgium is an important trading partner of North Africa. Belgium is located near England, France and Germany providing trade opportunities and prosperity for these North Africans.

What Are Their Lives Like?

For unemployed Kabyle in modern times, immigration to Europe means employment opportunities, and decades of immigration have left a large community in Belgium. Since then, the number of Kabyle Berbers in Belgium have fluctuated depending on the needs for cheap labor and the economic/political situations in North Africa. One can find Kabyle Berbers running family grocery stores or driving cabs in Belgium's urban centers. Those Kabyle who are recognized as refugees in Belgium have the same rights as nationals, except the right to vote. They can request aid from the community, but recently Belgium has refused to accept newly arriving refugees. African refugees stand at the bottom of the economic scale and are subject to racial prejudice. Preserving the family is important to the Kabyle. Even when a family member is forced 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 ancestry is traced through the males. According to tradition, a local assembly composed of the heads of all families governs the villages.Like other Muslim communities in secularized Europe, the Kabyle Berbers often look inward to maintain their culture. Islam is usually a big part of this equation.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Although the Kabyle 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. Weddings are lengthy celebrations that often last several days. In secularized Belgium, these Muslims either become more secular, or they become more entrenched in the Islamic religious system.

What Are Their Needs?

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

Scripture Prayers for the Berber, Kabyle in Belgium.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Berber, Kabyle
People Name in Country Berber, Kabyle
Natural Name Kabyle Berber
Pronunciation kuh-BEEL BUR-bur
Alternate Names Greater Kabyle; North African Berber; We
Population this Country 55,000
Population all Countries 7,254,000
Total Countries 5
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 12399
ROP3 Code 104365
ROP25 Code 309156
ROP25 Name Berber, Kabyle
Country Belgium
Region Europe, Western
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Belgium
Region Europe, Western
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Map of Berber, Kabyle in Belgium
Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Subdivision: Sunni
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.50 %)
2.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
98.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Amazigh (55,000 speakers)
Language Code kab   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Amazigh (55,000 speakers)
Language Code kab   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Amazigh
Photo Source Alioueche Mokhtar - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group location: Web research. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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