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Berber, Rif in France

Berber, Rif

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Berber, Rif in France map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
129,000 Tarifit Islam 0.20 % 0.03 %   

Berber, Rif in France

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Introduction / History
Riffians are a North African Berber tribe who belong to a much larger group of Berbers known as the Shilha. The Shilha Berbers are divided into three main groups: the Northern (Rif) Berber, the Southern (Sousi) Berber, and the Central (Beraber) Berber. The Rif Berbers are composed of 19 individual tribes.

The Arabic word rif means "the edge of the cultivated area" and aptly describes Riffian territory. Dwelling on the harsh slopes of the Rif Mountains in Morocco and Algeria, the Riffians inhabit a land of deserts, mountains, and rolling fields. The Africans call this entire region Maghrib. Between 670 and 700 A.D., Muslims conquered the Maghrib.

In recent years, many North Africans migrated into western Europe. By the early 1980s, over half a million workers, including many Riffians, had moved there. In the later 1980s, however, the European labor market closed to new workers.

What are their lives like?
In North Africa, the Riffians earn their livelihood from the fig and olive trees that cover the mountain slopes. Income is supplemented through job opportunities in major cities of Europe. Such jobs lure up to one-third of the male population for most of the year.

For the unemployed Riffians, immigration to Europe was once an option, but that choice has declined in the late twentieth century due to restrictions on immigration. However, decades of immigration have left a large Riffian community in France. For some, service in the army and in the factories of France during World War I was an avenue of migration. When the war ended, many remained in France. Others arrived after World War II when there was a labor shortage in France. Recently, others went as merchants, since France is one of the most important trading partners with North Africa.

As the number of immigrants in France increased, so did various kinds of racial discrimination, including problems in housing and unemployment. Initially, the immigrants were males who lived in low-standard hostels and worked at low-paying jobs such as construction, street cleaning, mining, or heavy work in steel assembly. With the beginning of economic stress in 1974, many French began to reclaim these jobs; thus, the government began to restrict immigration.

In the Riffian family, as many as three or four generations live together in one small room, sharing everything. The father is the head of the family, and ancestry is traced through the males. The family structure is somewhat of an authoritarian democracy. While the father is responsible for controlling all household matters, he must obtain the agreement of the rest of the family as well. Banishment from the family is considered the ultimate punishment.

What are their beliefs?
The Riffians are almost all Muslims, although their religious practices are based more on traditions and the decisions of the community rather than on the Koran (Islam's holy book). Riffian society is organized around two main systems: Islam and the tribe. However, there are many differences between urban and rural societies. In urban areas, orthodox Islam prevails; whereas, in rural areas, ancient beliefs and customs are still intermingled with the Muslim faith.

What are their needs?
Many Riffians are searching for answers beyond Muslim fundamentalism. Those in Algeria and Morocco do not have the freedom to follow Christ, but those in France do. In fact, a number of them have responded to recent Christian programs produced in France. However, the majority remain unreached, still needing an opportunity to hear the Gospel.

The number of North African immigrants living in France continues to be a serious social issue. The Riffian, among others, are at the bottom of the economic scale and are subject to racial prejudice. Christian workers are needed to show the love and acceptance of Jesus to the Riffians in France.

Prayer Points
Ask the Lord to call French Christians to minister the love of Jesus to Riffians living among them.
Ask the Holy Spirit to anoint the efforts of missions agencies focusing on the Riffians.
Pray for effectiveness of the Jesus film among the Riffians, resulting in many conversions.
Ask the Lord to soften the hearts of Riffians towards the Gospel.
Pray that God will give Riffian believers boldness to share Christ with their own people.
Ask God to raise prayer teams who, through intercession, will begin breaking up the soil in the hearts of the Riffian people to receive the seed of the Gospel.
Pray that strong local churches will be raised among the Riffians of France.

View Berber, Rif in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-03-29
Riffians profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
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Country: France
Continent: Europe
Region: Europe, Western
10/40 Window: No
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Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Berber, Rif
People Name General: Berber, Rif
Alternate People Names:
Northern ShilhaNorthern Shilih
RifRif Berber
RiffRiffan Berber
RiffiRiffi Berber
Shilha, NorthernShleuh
ROP3 Code: 101275
Joshua Project People ID: 10803
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 129,000
Population all Countries: 1,906,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
People Cluster: Berber-Riff
People Name General: Berber, Rif
Ethnic Code: CMT32e
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Tarifit (129,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): rif    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.20 %(Evangelical: 0.03 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.80 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1885-2018
New Testament:
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Audio RecordingsAwar n Tudart, NT text and audio, Riffi ...
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoGod's Story video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Tarifit
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMagdalena video
Film / VideoMy Last Day video, anime
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralGospel resources links
Text / Printed MatterBible: Tarifit
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Berber, Rif in France

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Berber-Riff     Europe, Western    
      Berber, Rif France    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Berber, Rif in France          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Tarifit  
    All Religions                              

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