Introduction / History In the first few centuries after Christ, Christianity spread throughout southern Europe and North Africa. A strong church was established in present-day Tunisia despite intense persecution from the Romans. However, disunity, factions, and a failure to translate the Bible into the local languages weakened the church. When Arab invaders arrived in the 7th century an empty shell of a church was all that existed. Islam spread rapidly and the Christian roots of the people were forgotten. The ruins of ancient baptisteries and sites of martyrdom are still in Muslim Tunisia today.
The atmosphere of Tunisia is very secular. Many Tunisians seldom or never go to a mosque. Women currently have more rights than in other Arab countries. Many women hold government offices and professional careers. For this reason, it is not a difficult transition for Tunisians who have migrated to Spain. Tunisians live in several European countries, nine of which have a higher Tunisian population than Spain.
Where are they located? Most Tunisians in Spain live in urban centers like Barcelona and Madrid.
What are their lives like? Though Tunisia is among the smallest Arab nation, Tunisians are the most prestigious people in North Africa. Many have good working positions, while others attend universities.
What are their beliefs? Virtually all Tunisian Arab are Sunni Muslim. They adhere to the teachings of the Koran and observe the five "pillars" of Islam, which include: affirming that Allah is the only god and that Mohammed is his prophet, praying, giving alms, fasting, and making a pilgrimage to Mecca. However, in Europe, the mosque has lost its recognition as the most important building among the Tunisian Arab. Most of them now use the communal facilities of their apartment buildings or housing estates as their places of worship.
What are their needs? Tunisian Arabs in Spain need a spiritual hunger that will drive them to overcome the historical pull towards Islam and secularism that keeps their community away from Jesus Christ.
Prayer Points * Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to Spain and share Christ with Tunisian Arabs.
* Pray that God will grant wisdom and favor to mission agencies focusing on the Tunisian Arabs.
* Ask God to strengthen and encourage the small number of Tunisian Arab believers. Pray that the Lord will give these believers opportunities to share the gospel with other Arabs.
* Ask the Lord to raise up a strong Disciple-Making movement among Tunisian Arabs in Spain.