People groups: the Tuareg
By AfriGO Team
People Groups: The Tuareg
In early 2016, after 30 years of hard work by the translation team, Tuareg Christians celebrated the completion of the New Testament in their own language. “Now we must read the Word!” said one participant. “Every believer, no matter what their job, can use this Word to bring our nation to Christ. God will use it to reach others through us.” This prophetic missionary vision comes from an unlikely source – there are few known Tuareg believers in Niger (0.01%) – but the Holy Spirit is not discouraged by such statistics.
The nomadic Tuareg, also known as the Tamajaq, live in an area stretching from the Western Sahara to Western Sudan. These tribal nomads appear to have travelled down from North Africa in a series of migrations as early as the seventh century. By the end of the 1300s, Tuareg tribes had established themselves as far south as the Nigerian border. Today, in Niger alone, there are an estimated 929,000 Tuareg people.
Though the Tuareg are virtually all Sunni Muslim, they have a reputation among other Muslims for being lukewarm in their faith. They practice a form of Islam infused with folk beliefs and magic. Though they do celebrate Ramadan, many will find excuses to avoid fasting.
Prayer is the key to reaching the Tuareg with the gospel.
At a Glance:
- The Tuareg diet includes milk, dates and grains (mostly millet).
- Tuareg nomads live in small, lightweight, leather tents or grass huts.
- They practice a form of Islam infused with folk beliefs and magic.
- They are known for their finely crafted jewellery and ornaments, some of which bear symbols of a cross.
Ask God To:
- Help the small Tuareg Church rise to the challenge of taking the gospel to their people.
- Save key leaders among the Tuareg who will boldly declare the gospel.
- Call workers from Niger or other parts of Africa to go and serve among the Tuareg.
- Raise up strong local churches among the Tuareg.