Filala Berber in Morocco

The Filala Berber have only been reported in Morocco
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Berbers tribes stretch from the Siwa Oasis in Egypt to the Atlantic Ocean. They probably once inhabited the entire North African territory, forcing the black population to move further southward through the desert. However, the origins of the Berbers and how they arrived in North Africa remains a mystery.
The Berbers call themselves the Imazighen, which means "man of noble origin." Their various languages belong to the Hamito-Semitic language family which includes five major groupings as well as many dialects. Although the Berber languages differ greatly from one another in sound, they only vary slightly in grammar and vocabulary.
The name "Berber" is derived from the Latin word barbari, meaning "barbarians." This term was used by the Romans in the third century A.D. to describe the "people of the Maghrib." (The Maghrib refers to the regions of North Africa that were conquered by Muslims between 670 and 700 A.D. It included Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and the western portion of Libya.
Although the Maghrib has been, for the most part, "Arabized" by language and Islamic culture over the centuries, there are still groups of Berbers. They are generally divided by region, such as the nine Saharan Berber tribes, who have retained much of their original Berber traditions and characteristics. One of these Saharan Berber tribes is the Filala Berbers. They speak Tachelhit. Much of their lifestyle is the same as the other Berbers of this region.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Since the Sahara Desert is a harsh environment, most of the Saharan tribes occupy several oases. Filala Berber economy rests on a fine balance between farming and raising cattle. Every tribe, without exception, depends heavily on domestic animals for carrying heavy loads, milk and dairy products, meat, and hides or wool. No Berber tribe depends on farming for survival. Hunting rarely adds to the food supply.
Filala Berbers are noted for their skills in various crafts. Domestic tasks such as weaving and pottery are the main work of the women. The men specialize in woodworking, metalworking, and, more surprisingly, fine needlework. Regarding labor, the men do most of the farming, while the women are responsible for milking and gathering.
Filala Berber societies can be broken down into three basic units: the community, the district, and the tribe. The community is a political collection of clans; the district is a cluster of communities; and the tribe is a group of districts that are characterized by a common territory, name and culture. Government at the community level is notably democratic. All authority is vested in an assembly called the jemaa. The jemaa, composed of all adult males, usually meets weekly.
In nearly every Berber society, each district, and sometimes each community as well, is divided into two opposing factions called sofs. Membership into the sof is hereditary. Among tribes that no longer live in their original environments, the political units are allied with one another in identical divisions of higher levels known as lefs. Bonds of alliance are re-confirmed by traditional forms of hospitality as well as by huge annual feasts to which members invite one another. If warfare occurs, it is almost exclusively between districts of the opposite lef. However, since lefs are primarily defensive rather than offensive alliances, their primary purpose is to preserve peace in a region.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Berber groups such as the Filala and other Saharan Berbers, are nominal Muslims. Their observances of Islamic law are generally lax.
The concept of baraka, or holiness, is highly developed in North Africa. The Berbers believe that many people are endowed with baraka, of which the holiest are the shurifa, or the direct descendants of Mohammed.
Another class of holy people is known as the marabouts. Among some Berbers, the Tuaregs in particular, the marabouts are different from ordinary men. They are believed to possess, even after death, the powers of protection and healing.
In view of the general acceptance of Islam, it is particularly interesting that almost all Berbers prefer monogamous marriages. Even the oasis dwellers and the Tuareg hold this preference. In the few tribes where polygamy does exist, it is practiced only by the few wealthy men.


What Are Their Needs?

Filala Berbers have few Christian resources available to them. Because it is difficult to reach them geographically, they must be the focus of individual church planting efforts.
The quality of life for the Filala Berbers is quite poor. The need for community development projects may provide open doors through which missionaries may enter. Much prayer is needed to break down the barriers that separate the Filala Berbers from the gospel.


Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to North Africa and share Christ with the Filala Berbers.
Pray that God will raise up loving African Christians to reach out to their Muslim neighbors.
Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the small number of Berber Christians who are scattered throughout North Africa.
Pray that God will raise up faithful intercessors who will stand in the gap for the Filala Berbers.
Ask the Lord to raise up a strong local fellowship of believers among the Filala Berbers of Morocco.


Scripture Prayers for the Berber, Filala in Morocco.


References

Bethany World Prayer Center


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Berber, Filala
People Name in Country Berber, Filala
Natural Name Filala Berber
Alternate Names Filala Berber
Population this Country 388,000
Population all Countries 388,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 8
People ID 10802
ROP3 Code 101273
ROP25 Code 301088
ROP25 Name Berber, Saharan
Country Morocco
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 24  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Souss-Massa-Drâa, Guelmim-Es Semara, Marrakesh-Tensift-Al Haouz, and Tadla-Azilal regions: coast south to Ifni, north to near Agadir, northeast to Marrakech outskirts, east to Drâa, including Sous valley, and south near the border.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Morocco
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 24  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Souss-Massa-Drâa, Guelmim-Es Semara, Marrakesh-Tensift-Al Haouz, and Tadla-Azilal regions: coast south to Ifni, north to near Agadir, northeast to Marrakech outskirts, east to Drâa, including Sous valley, and south near the border..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.01 %)
0.01 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
99.99 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Primary Language Tachelhit (388,000 speakers)
Language Code shi   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Tachelhit (388,000 speakers)
Language Code shi   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Tachelhit

Primary Language:  Tachelhit

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1906-1925)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2021)
Bible-Complete No
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Online Audio Scripture Talking Bibles
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Tachelhit Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Resources in Tachelhit language General / Other
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General Walk with the Prophets and meet the Messiah Al Massira
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app: Tachelhit YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Tachelhit YouVersion Bibles
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  Nik Wheeler, National Geographic  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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