Text source: Joshua Project
Introduction / History
The Tuareg are descended from Berbers in the region that is now Libya, and also from ancient Saharan peoples. Following the independence of African countries in the 1960s, Tuareg territory was artificially divided into modern nations: Niger, Mali, Algeria, Libya, and Burkina Faso. The Tuareg adopted camel nomadism, along with its distinctive form of social organization, from camel-herding Arabs about two thousand years ago. Early in their history, Algerian Tuareg people were involved in slave trading. Those who were not used as slaves were assimilated into Tuareg society. This is one of the reasons they are sometimes despised by other people groups and given the derisive name, "Tuareg." These tough people are considered trouble-makers, sometimes for good reason, and sometimes out of prejudice.
What are their lives like?
Camels are the center of Tuareg economic activity and lifestyle. They provide milk, meat, hair for textiles and clothing, as well as muscle for moving equipment and heavy loads. This has been the national routine for 2,000 years now since the camel was introduced by the Arabs.
What are their beliefs?
The Algerian Tuaregs are Sunni Muslims who believe that the One, Supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah. Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe that Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will. In most of the Muslim world, people depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.
Prayer PointsView Tuareg, Algerian in all countries.
Pray for adequate educational and medical facilities for the Algerian Tuaregs. Pray for spiritual hunger and discernment for these Sunni Muslims. Pray for the Lord to thrust out Holy Spirit empowered servants to the Algerian Tuaregs. Pray for a movement to Christ among the Algerian Tuaregs this decade.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.