Tekna in Western Sahara

Photo Source:  COMIBAM / Sepal 
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People Name: Tekna
Country: Western Sahara
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 118,000
World Population: 138,000
Primary Language: Hassaniyya
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.04 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Berber-Shilha
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Berbers are divided by subgroup, yet the generic term that they prefer is Imazighen, meaning, "Free men." Freedom and independence are highly valued by these people, who are much better known as Berbers, a term meaning "barbarians" slapped on them by the Roman Empire. Today the term Berber is so well-engrained that people seldom know who they are without using this derogatory term. The Berbers include several tribes including the Tekna. They were once semi-nomadic. Their yearly cycle was divided between herding camels and goats and farming. This tribe straddles Morocco and Western Sahara.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today the main vocation of the Tekna Berbers is settled in agriculture. While many characteristics of Berber society have survived, they have been dramatically modified by the economic and political changes of the 20th century.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Tekna people are Sunni Muslims who believe that the One, Supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah. Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe that Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will. In most of the Muslim world, people depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them deal with spiritual forces.

What Are Their Needs?

There are few if any Christ followers among the Tekna people. Almost all Christians live in urban centers. They need evangelists and disciplers.

Prayer Points

Pray for good schools and medical facilities for the Tekna people.
Pray for spiritual hunger and discernment among the Tekna people in Western Sahara.
Pray for the Lord to raise up Tekna disciples who will make other disciples.
Pray for Tekna leaders to have dreams and visions of the victorious, risen Christ, leading them to open the door to the gospel.

Text Source:   Joshua Project