Algerian, Arabic-speaking in Belgium

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People Name: Algerian, Arabic-speaking
Country: Belgium
10/40 Window: No
Population: 53,000
World Population: 36,747,900
Primary Language: Arabic, Algerian
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 1.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.50 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Arab, Maghreb
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Arab Diaspora is the Arab population who live outside of North Africa and the Middle East. Algerian Arabs are among them, and some now make Belgium their home. Most fled poverty and repression in Algeria to live in peaceful, prosperous Belgium. Most Algerian Arabs continue to speak Algerian Arabic at home and French with others. The majority are taking advantage of the Belgium's education system to improve their lives and the future of their children.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The lives of the Algerians in Belgium are vastly superior to those of Arabs who live in the North Africa. Most Arabs in Belgium would fit into the lower class or lower middle class of the nation as shop keepers, factory workers, construction workers, restaurant workers, and agricultural workers. As they gain more education and job skills they are moving into the middle and upper classes. Some Arab families in Belgium send money or remittances to their relatives and friends in Algeria on a regular basis. Algerian Arab society is paternalistic. The husband controls the family with the wife and children submitting to his authority. Arab women in Belgium are in a better position than those in the North Africa. By becoming college educated, Algerian women are able to gain careers closed to them in Algeria. In traditional Arab culture the parents choose whom their child will marry. That is changing as more and more young people in Belgium choose their marriage partner. As a general rule, Arab families have more children than other citizens of Belgium. Almost all Algerians in Belgium practice the Islam of their ancestors. Going to mosque on Fridays and the daily calls to pray continue to hold importance in the lives of Algerian Arabs. Others are Muslim in name only and live essentially secular lives.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Algerian Arabs in Belgium are Sunni, the largest branch of Islam. They try to obey the teachings of the Koran and the prophet Mohammad. They believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. However, Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, deceiving, slandering, and making idols. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael to Allah. More and more young Algerian people are becoming secularized in Belgium. Their Islam is becoming more cultural than religious.

What Are Their Needs?

The Algerian Arabs of Belgium must understand their good works will not get them right with God. God forgives sins and grants eternal life only through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus or Isa. The Arabs need to see biblical Christianity as not just the Europeans' religion but as their own as well.

Prayer Points

Ask God to open the spiritual eyes of the Algerian Arabs in Belgium as they hear about Isa al Masih,Pray that the Lord sends believers to build friendships with Algerian Arabs and tell them the good news about Jesus. Pray the Lord raises up a Disciple Making Movement among the Algerian Arabs in this decade. Pray that leaders in the Arab community of Belgium would be willing to investigate the claims of Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project