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|People Name:||Arab, Moroccan|
|Primary Language:||Arabic, Moroccan Spoken|
|Christian Adherents:||0.30 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|People Cluster:||Arab, Maghreb|
|Affinity Bloc:||Arab World|
Arabs represent the largest, most diverse, and most politically influential Muslim ethnic grouping in the world. While there are several characteristics that determine if a person is a true Arab, one trait is always evident: a proud sense of being an Arab. The early Islamic period was a time when "Arab identity" meant that all Arabs had descended from a common male ancestor. Thus, being an Arab brought recognition, honor and certain privileges. Their physical, geographical and religious aspects all vary greatly. However, the ability to speak Arabic (or an Arabic dialect) and identification with the Arabian cultural heritage are, perhaps, the two most essential elements. Arabs are the majority people in many countries in the Arabian Peninsula, the Maghreb, and all of North Africa. From there, Arab and Berber armies turned northward, and conquered the Iberian Peninsula (i. E. , Spain and Portugal), and held all or part of it till 1492. Arabs were not as much of a threat to northern European countries like Belgium, the Netherland, Norway, Sweden, and Germany. The Moroccan Arabs are not as "Arab" as those from the Arabian Peninsula in that they are from a place where there is a definite Berber influence. Today Moroccan Arabs have come to Europe seeking educational and job opportunities and a better life than they had in Morocco.
Every year, foreign students arrive in Amsterdam to pursue advanced degrees. Many are Arab Moroccans, who must study and pass courses in a second or third language. They are without families and friends. Western, secular culture and values assault them from all directions: advertisements on TV and radio, in magazines, and in shop windows. Often, they succumb to the allure of easy money, casual sex and drugs. Women are especially vulnerable. Many of them come from a culture where their behavior is strictly regulated by Muslim-based laws and a conservative culture. In the Netherlands they are suddenly exposed to complete freedom. Lonely and confused, they are easy targets for exploitation. If it can be proven that a Muslim woman has engaged in premarital sexual relations, she is shunned by her family (or worse) and deemed unsuitable for marriage. Often the students' difficult situations make them more open to believers who offer love and friendship. When Christ's ambassadors extend his unconditional love to them, many long to know him more, and eventually give Him their hearts. When the students return home strong in their new faith, they can potentially become "missionaries" to their own people groups.
It is difficult for Moroccan Arabs in secularized Europe to maintain their Islamic identity. To do this, they sometimes get more immersed in Muslim activities, and stay clear of the European culture around them. Secular humanism isn't a formal religious system, and it has very little appeal to Moroccan Arab Muslims. Still, those who want to fit in with European culture probably become more secularized. It is hard to imagine where the Moroccan Arabs will be spiritually in a generation or two. Most likely, they will maintain their identity with Islam, but it will not affect their lives in the same way it did in Morocco.
People who genuinely follow Christ will need to patiently and lovingly take the opportunity to take Christ to the Moroccan Arabs in the Netherlands. They can do this in part by helping to teach language and work skills.
Pray that God will raise up faithful intercessors who will stand in the gap for Moroccan Arabs in the Netherlands. Pray that the softening of their traditional culture will soften their hearts so they will hunger for the truth and eagerly accept it when they hear it. Pray for a church planting movement among Moroccan Arabic speaking people in the Netherlands that will show others the transforming power of the gospel in their lives. Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches and discipleship movements among Diaspora Arabs in Netherlands.