Abu Sharib in Chad

Map Source:  People Group location: SIL / WLMS. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Abu Sharib
Country: Chad
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 93,000
World Population: 93,000
Primary Language: Mararit
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.01 %
Evangelicals: 0.01 %
Scripture: Translation Started
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Ouaddai-Fur
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Abu Sharib people of Chad call themselves the Ibilak. They speak their own language of Mararit. They share a common ancestral heritage. Abu Sharib people migrated to the east central Chad centuries ago. Unlike many other people of arid north and central Chad, the Abu Sharib live near rivers that provide them water to irrigate their crops and animals. Chad became independent from France in 1960. Unfortunately, since that date, civil wars, the assassinations and arrests of political leaders, coups and wars with Libya and Sudan have been the norm. A quarter of Chad's income is aid from the UN, NGOs, France, China, and the USA. International agencies consider Chad to be a failed state. Less than 40% of the people are able to read and write. The two official languages of Chad are French and Arabic. Chadian speak over 100 languages and dialects. In 2003 Chad became an oil exporting nation. Most of the revenue from the oil went to buying weapons and for the salaries of the Chadian military, not for the welfare of the Chadian people. There are few if any no known believers among the Abu Sharib people. Thousands of people have fled western Sudan and now live as refugees in the region of Chad where the Abu Sharib live.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Abu Sharib benefit from living in an area with a plentiful water supply. The gardens around the rivers can be cultivated all year round and they don't have to move their herds around to find water like some other groups in northern Chad. Agriculture lies at the heart of the life in Ibilak villages. Their stable crop is millet. They also grow peanuts and cotton as cash crops. In many ways the Abu Sharib appear to be satisfied with life. Living in an area with good water supplies they can subsist well, sustaining a traditional lifestyle in ways passed down from their ancestors. In recent decades there were large numbers of Abu Sharib who went elsewhere for work when famine conditions hit eastern Chad. These days many of the men travel to other places, such as the Sudan or the Chadian capital of Ndjamena. With extra resources in hand many have returned and many plan to return and resume their agricultural livelihood in their villages in the Ouaddai Province. An Abu Sharib man may have up to four wives if he can afford them. Most men have one wife. Abu Sharib parents tend to have many children. They see children, especially boys, as blessings from Allah. The Abu Sharib marry within their group with families arranging marriages.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Around the time the rains are expected, the Abu Sharib make sacrifices before the sew millet seeds. Then they ask for God's blessing of enough rain and a good harvest. These sacrifices probably go back to practices of pre-Islamic traditions, but today all the Abu Sharib profess to be Sunni Muslims. Their Islam is heavily influenced by folk religion and animism. The Abus Sharib are an unreached people with few of them being followers of Christ.

What Are Their Needs?

The Abu Sahrib need to understand that Isa, Jesus, is much more than human prophet. The Abu Sahrib would benefit by teams of medical workers providing for their medical needs. They also need schools for their children. Christian teachers could help meet that need. The Abu Sharib must see the love of Christ demonstrated in practical ways.

Prayer Points

Pray the Abu Sharib parents will be able to provide for their children. Pray that Abu Sharib children would have schools to attend. Pray that the Abu Sharib will become open to hear the gospel. Ask the Lord to send workers who can tell them the good news of Jesus Christ. Pray the Bible and Christian resources would be translated into their language.

Text Source:   Joshua Project