Introduction / History The Kabyle are a Berber tribe located primarily in Morocco, Tunisia, western Libya, and the coastal mountain regions of northern Algeria. During the third century, the Romans named the people of the Maghrib Berber, which means "barbarian." Understandably, they prefer to be known as Amazigh, meaning “free people.” Later the Arabs call this entire region of North Africa "Maghrib." The Maghrib was conquered by the Muslims between 670 and 700.
The Kabyle live in the rugged, well-watered al-Quabail Mountains. These inaccessible peaks of the Kabyle Berber homeland have long served as a refuge from invaders including the Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, and Arabs. Migration is becoming more common among the Berbers, and it is estimated that several million Berbers now live in European cities. A smaller number have moved further away to Canada.
Where are they located? Berbers are probably blended in with others from Algeria. Algerians have communities in Toronto and Montreal, the latter being a city where French is the trade language.
What are their lives like? Preserving the family is important to the Kabyle Berbers. Even when a family member is forced to migrate to other countries, family ties remain strong. Family bonds are also strengthened by their marriage customs and inheritance rights. Often, an entire family lives in one small room, sharing everything. The father is the head of the family, and ancestry is traced through the males. According to tradition, a local assembly composed of the heads of all families governs the villages.
What are their beliefs? Almost all Algerians are Muslim, but they do not strictly observe the laws of the Koran. Upon converting to Islam, the Kabyle kept many of their traditional beliefs, especially that of pre-Islamic saint worship. However, they celebrate the usual Muslim holidays and visit friends and neighbors during these festive times. Weddings are lengthy celebrations that often last several days. There are some Kabyle Berber believers in Canada and the UK.
What are their needs? Kabyle Berbers, no matter where they live, need the chance to become disciples of Jesus Christ.
Prayer Points * Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Kabyle Berber people teachable and understanding hearts.
* Pray for a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Kabyle Berber families into a rich experience of God’s blessing.
* Pray for their families to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek forgiveness and to understand the adequacy of Christ’s work on the cross.
* Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Kabyle Berber family leaders to experience God’s blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.