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Zuwarah in Libya


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Zuwarah in Libya map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
41,000 Nafusi Islam 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Zuwarah in Libya

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Introduction / History
Zuara Berbers are one of many groups of Berbers. The Berbers are a North African people group who were conquered by Muslim invaders in the seventh century. The term 'Berber' refers to any native speaker of one of the Berber languages.

There are three main groups of Berbers in Libya: the Luata, the Nefusa, and the Adassa. Each group contains several smaller tribes. The Zuara is one of the smallest tribes. They live in the far northwest part of Libya, on the Mediterranean Sea. They are primarily located just west of the city of Tripoli, in an area known as Jebal Nefusa. Today, most Berbers refer to themselves as the Imazighen, which means "men of noble origin." The Zuara, like other Berbers, are generally bilingual, speaking both Zuara and Arabic.

What are their lives like?
Due to their location along the Mediterranean Sea, the Zuara are farmers. They produce and consume large amounts of barley, corn, wheat, and rye. Chickens, goats, and sheep are also raised. This supplemental food source provides milk, eggs, butter, and meat.

Because of its proximity to Tripoli, the region west of the city is becoming increasingly more urbanized. However, many of the Zuara still live in homes made of mud brick and stone. Mountain village homes are quite similar. They are usually flat-roofed houses made of stone that has been reinforced with dried mud.

The Berber dress is very similar to that of the Arabian community. The men wear the traditional djellaba cloak, which is made of cotton with wide sleeves and a hood. They also wear cotton turbans or caps. The men work in the fields, herd the animals, and hunt; while the women do the housework and care for the children. The women only help the men in the fields during harvest time, when they take the newly cut grain to the threshing floor.

For the Berber, life revolves around important ceremonies such as births, marriages, and deaths. Many rites of passage are important parts of their culture as well, such as the first haircut and circumcision for boys. The most elaborate of all is the marriage ceremony.

The Zuara, like other Berbers, live in a society that is male-dominated. The line of descent is traced through the fathers and all inheritances are passed down through the males. Also, as a means of preserving themselves as a people, the Zuara are not permitted to marry outside of their own group.

What are their beliefs?
The Zuara, like other Berbers, are virtually all Muslims. The Islamic religion is based on the teachings of Mohammed. The Koran (holy book of Islam) was supposedly given to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel. Islam is a religion of works that is based on five "pillars": (1) A Muslim must affirm that "there is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet." (2) Five times a day he must pray while facing Mecca. (3) He must generously give alms. (4) He must fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year. (5) He must try to make one pilgrimage to Mecca in his lifetime.

There are many different branches of Islam and the Zuara belong to the Kharijite sect. The Kharijites are unique in that they believe that Muslims have the right to eliminate unjust rulers. They also allow for non-Arabs to hold Islamic leadership positions. Most Muslims do not accept these beliefs.

What are their needs?
A profession of faith in Jesus Christ can cost a Muslim his life. At the present time, Zuara is only a spoken language.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to Libya and share Christ with the Zuara Berber.
* Pray that the doors of Libya will soon open to missionaries.
* Ask God to provide evangelistic tools and equipment needed to reach them both spiritually and geographically.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Zuara toward Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Ask God to call forth prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through intercession.
* Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Zuara Berber.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.
* Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.

View Zuwarah in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-12-10
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-12-14
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Country: Libya
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, North and Middle East
Persecution Rank:4 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Al Jabal al Gharbi and Nalut districts: Jabal Nafusah area, Tripolitania, Nalut and Yafran areas isolated, Zuara Coast, west of Tripoli.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Zuwarah
People Name General: Zuwarah
Alternate People Names:
JemmariNefusa Berber
ROP3 Code: 111196
Joshua Project People ID: 16114
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 41,000
Population all Countries: 41,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
People Cluster: Berber-Saharan
People Name General: Zuwarah
Ethnic Code: CMT32z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Nafusi (41,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): jbn    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Zuara
Dialect Code:14506
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam100.00 % 
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
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: Yes
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
None Reported
Ministry Activity
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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

Zuwarah in Libya

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Berber-Saharan     Africa, North and Middle East    
      Zuwarah Libya    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Zuwarah in Libya          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Nafusi  
    All Religions                              

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