People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Berber, Rif in Netherlands

Berber, Rif

Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Send us a map of this people group in this country.
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
166,000 Tarifit Islam 0.50 % 0.10 %   

Berber, Rif in Netherlands

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

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., Muslim Arabs conquered the Maghrib.

In the mid-1940s, the Netherlands welcomed guest workers to their country from their former colonies like Indonesia. Between 1965-86, a large number of Moroccans (Rif Berbers, usually) arrived in the Netherlands as guest workers. Many of these people did not return to Morocco. In 1974, Moroccans were allowed to have their families join them in the Netherlands. Now they are settled there.

Where are they located?
The vast majority of Rif Berbers live in Algeria and Morocco, but there is a diaspora in various European countries like the Netherlands and France.

What are their lives like?
There are a large number of Moroccan Rif Berbers in the Netherlands, so they are sometimes singled out as the people whom certain politicians view as a threat. Some of the Dutch would like to see them deported.

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 the Netherlands do. However, the majority remain unreached, still needing an opportunity to hear that Jesus offers life to the full.

Prayer Points
Pray for a "Book of Acts" type of movement to Christ among the Rif Berbers in the Netherlands.
Pray for a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Rif Berber families into a rich experience of God's blessing.
Pray for a movement in which the Holy Spirit leads and empowers Rif Berber disciples to make more disciples.


View Berber, Rif in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-04-10
Riffians profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
  Submit Update:
Country: Netherlands
Continent: Europe
Region: Europe, Western
10/40 Window: No
Submit Map:
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
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: 166,000
Population all Countries: 1,906,000
Least-Reached: Yes
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
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Tarifit (166,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): rif    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.50 %(Evangelical: 0.10 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam94.50 % 
Non-Religious5.00 % 
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
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
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
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Berber, Rif in Netherlands

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

Direct link: