Tataouine Amazigh in Tunisia

The Amazigh, Tataouine have only been reported in Tunisia
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Amazigh, also known as Berbers, are the indigenous people of North Africa. They are a strong and proud people. The very name Amazigh is often translated to mean "free or noble men." There were people from North Africa present in Jerusalem at the day of Pentecost. There was a church among Berbers in the early centuries of Christianity, and some of the great North African church fathers were of Berber heritage. One can still find the symbolism of the cross throughout Amazigh architecture, designs on handmade carpets, and even tattoos on women's faces. Today, however, they have no understanding of their Christian heritage. There are many Berber Amazigh tribes in Tunisia and the rest of North Africa. One of them is the Tataouine. When Islam swept through North Africa in the 7th century, many pockets of the Amazigh tried to fight the invasion. They resisted Islam's advance ten different times in history, outwardly saying they would become Muslims, but then returning to their villages and refusing to practice the religion. They intentionally built conspicuous white mosques at the top of the mountains to deceive Muslim invaders. As they passed, seeing the mosque in the distance, they would assume the village had already converted and continue on their way. Early generations kept their Christian heritage in secret and outwardly submitted to Islamic rule.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The way of life for the Tataouine Amazigh di?ers from the other groups around them, especially in their interaction between men and women. Their interactions follow more of Bedouin habits that came with Islam from the Arabian Peninsula. Men and women do not mix socially. The Tataouine Amazigh speak their own language from childhood, but do not write it. They learn Arabic, French and some English at school. The Tataouine Amazigh use media like the radio, but they don't own other means of media, and there is no network for mobile phones.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Tataouine Amazigh are Muslims, following the Ibadi school of Islam, which differs from both Sunni and Shia Islam. They di?er from most of the rest of the Amazigh in Tunisia, who follow the Ibadi school, because they have no understanding of what being Ibadi means. The Tataouine Amazigh have been highly influenced by the Maliki teaching in the province of Tataouine. They do not recognize the Ibadi school. The Tunisian Arab's Islamic preaching has convinced the Tataouine Amazigh that Ibadis are savages and that no one should work with them. Muslims follow the teaching of Mohammad, who lived in the 6-7th centuries in Saudi Arabia. They believe in one God, whom they call Allah (Arabic for "the God"). At judgment day, all people will be judged for their deeds and, if their good works outweigh their bad, then Allah will welcome them into paradise. If not, then they will be sentenced to eternal hell. In order to obtain salvation, they must follow the five pillars of Islam: prayer five times a day, fasting from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadan, giving to the poor, and, if possible, a pilgrimage to Mecca, to be done at least once in their lifetime (Hajj). Regarding Jesus, they believe that he was a prophet, but that his teachings are inferior to those of Mohammad.


Prayer Points

Pray for the Tataouine Amazigh to put their identity and hope in Jesus Christ rather than ethnicity or religion. Pray for spiritual hunger that will give the Tataouine Amazigh a willingness to look to Jesus Christ for life’s answers. Pray for Holy Spirit anointed workers to go to the Tataouine Amazigh in Tunisia. Pray for a mass movement to Christ among the Tataouine Amazigh people.


Scripture Prayers for the Amazigh, Tataouine in Tunisia.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Amazigh, Tataouine
People Name in Country Amazigh, Tataouine
Natural Name Tataouine Amazigh
Population this Country 4,700
Population all Countries 4,700
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names
People ID 20965
ROP3 Code 117609
Country Tunisia
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 35  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country The Amazigh of Tataouine are located in the south of Tunisia. There are about 4,400 Amazigh in this part of Tunisia. They can be found across four different villages; those in Douiret Jdida (new Douiret) (2,100), two families can be found in Douiret Elkadima (old Douiret) those in Chenini Jdida (new Chenini) (1,400), and those in Chenini Elkadima (old Chenini) (900). The Amazigh of Douiret Jdida and Chenini Jdida live in small cities built from clay and rock. The former President Bourguiba forced these groups to move from the mountains of their old dwellings. The Amazigh of Chenini Elkadima still live in the mountains. Their dwelling places are carved from the mountains between the layers of rock in the form of caves.   Source:  Field worker
Country Tunisia
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 35  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country The Amazigh of Tataouine are located in the south of Tunisia. There are about 4,400 Amazigh in this part of Tunisia. They can be found across four different villages; those in Douiret Jdida (new Douiret) (2,100), two families can be found in Douiret Elkadima (old Douiret) those in Chenini Jdida (new Chenini) (1,400), and those in Chenini Elkadima (old Chenini) (900). The Amazigh of Douiret Jdida and Chenini Jdida live in small cities built from clay and rock. The former President Bourguiba forced these groups to move from the mountains of their old dwellings. The Amazigh of Chenini Elkadima still live in the mountains. Their dwelling places are carved from the mountains between the layers of rock in the form of caves..   Source:  Field worker

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Primary Language Nafusi (4,700 speakers)
Language Code jbn   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Nafusi (4,700 speakers)
Language Code jbn   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Nafusi

Primary Language:  Nafusi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
None reported  
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
100.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
Unknown
Independent
Unknown
Orthodox
Unknown
Other Christian
Unknown
Protestant
Unknown
Roman Catholic
Unknown
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2022  Andrzej Lisowski Travel - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more