Barein in Chad

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Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Barein
Country: Chad
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 14,000
World Population: 14,000
Primary Language: Barein
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Chadic
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Barein are an agricultural people who live in the Guera, a mountainous region in Central Chad. They have lived in southeastern Chad for hundreds of years farming and raising animals like goats, sheep and camels. They try to stay out of the violence that often plagues the portion of Chad where they live. Chad became independent from France in 1960. Since that date Chad has experienced a series of civil wars, the assassinations and arrests of political leaders, coups and wars with Libya and Sudan. 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. Life expectancy is under 50 years old. Less than 40% of the Chadian people are able to read and write. The two official languages of Chad are French and Arabic. Chadians 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 no or few current followers of Christ among the Barein people. The Barein are mainly farmers, living in about 30 small villages in a remote area of the Melfi District, south of Bitkine.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Barein people live in round huts built with sun dried mud bricks and covered every year with fresh straw. They rely on good rain during rainy season (July to October) to grow their crops, mainly millet, maize, beans, and peanuts. They work the hard red soil with metal hoes fixed on a strong, short branch. During the dry season (November to June) water becomes a problem, since there are very few wells in the whole area. Women of several villages have to walk over 4 kilometers to reach a source of water. The Barein have frequent contacts with Arab nomads, exchanging millet for meat and dairy products. Their neighbors are the Baguirmi to the west, the Sokoro to the northwest, the Saba to the northeast and the Bua to the south. Elders rule the Barein villages. Famiiies arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. Parents often have a large number of children. Many children die before reaching the age of 10. In times of draught the Barein can face starvation. Children tend to work in the fields with their families rather than attend school.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of the Barein claim to be Sunni Muslims. Their brand if Islam is heavily influenced by traditional religion. This folk religion consists of bringing offerings to the Margay, the spirits of nature. They attribute all blessings and curses to these spirits' activity. The spirits of the mountains are the most powerful and feared ones. The Barein must perform rituals and ceremonies to appease the spirits.

What Are Their Needs?

The literacy rate for the Guera region of Chad is low. There are few schools in the whole area, none of them offering the complete primary education. Children work to support their families. There is also no access to modern medicine available Some Barein are leaving their homeland and moving to cities such as Bitkine, Mongo or N'Djamena. These Barein are hoping to provide a better possible life for their children. Many Barein need a nearby, regular supply of clean water.

Prayer Points

Pray that Barein parents are able to meet the need of their children. Pray that Christian workers will drill wells for the Barein so that they will have clean water. Pray the Lord leads teams of believers to provide modern medicine and schools for Barein children. Pray the Lord establishes evangelical churches among the Barein people of Chad in this decade.

Text Source:   Joshua Project