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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUP:

THE SAHARAWI IN MOROCCO

GLST 500

Global Studies Survey

Professor Sheared

By

Robert B. Curtis

September 27, 2015

Contents

Introduction 1

ABSTRACT ……………………………………………..…………………………………….2

HISTORY 3

LANGUAGE 4

CULTURE AND FAMILY 5

ECONOMY 6

RELIGION 7

SURVEY OF CURRENT MISSION WORK 8

STATUS OF THE CHURCH 9

HOW MANY BELIVERS 10

CHALLENGES…………………...………………………………..……………………………11

PROPOSED STRATEGY 12

THE 10/40 WINDOW 13

STRATEGY ONE 14

STRATEGY TWO 15

CONCLUSION 16

BIBLIOGRAPHY 17

ABSTRACT

The Saharawi fall into the 10/40 window or the Resistant Belt this area will challenge the Mission with language barriers and ethnic barriers and Biblical translation. The proposed strategy to work with the language barrier will be orality and storytelling will be implemented. The use of chronological Bible story telling will be used along with the use of electronic media this is called secondary orality, and finally a recorded oral Bible.

The use of orality and storytelling will be of good use, due the fact they speak Spanish and Arabic. Getting local authorities to allow access to local radio will help the need to evangelize. And audio ministry tapes in their native language will be a highly valuable tool to be used.

The strategy for church planting for this region we will be using Church implanting. Church planting will be difficult due their political and Muslim belief. The strategy for evangelism will be cluster groups and one on ones. The Saharawi in this region live in poverty so our objective will be to collaborate with local and national relief agencies within this region. The relief agencies will give us a larger group to minister with and access, due to the fact that some of the Saharawi people live in refugee camps. The Saharawi live in a tribal system where the elders are highly respected and have the power of influence. It is imperative that we engage the elders in this region for access to the unreached people in this area. In addition, the culture must be taken into account to understand their world view. We will also use Strategies for Transforming Communities to address some of the basic needs of all people food, shelter, clothing, and health needs. This is the challenge that will be confronted with. There is hope for all, but who will go and how will the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ be presented to this people? The mission will not be easy; however it is not impossible, if Coca-Cola can sell soda anywhere. Then the missionaries must begin to understand the culture, the environment, the history, just like any major cooperation. The international business community works tirelessly to find each countries niche. And they work to integrate the product and the people into a relationship. So must it be with the mission here in Saharawi, with much prayer, and work to foster a relationship to where trust can come, this will present an opportunity to minister to their heart and emotions.

Introduction

The Old Testament scripture in the book of Isaiah says this in the King James Translation “Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” In the text “Introducing World Missions” Stoot said this “Gods call is not solely for our blessing, but is also a call to service on behalf of humanity.”

In the Text called “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” Tom Steffen said this “Effective communication touches not only the mind, it also reaches the seat of emotions-the heart.”[1] Which is to say this, nobody no nation, no country is free of the emotions of the heart. This presents an opportunity to whoever will go and take this Gospel of the Lord and present it in a way that moves theirs heart and shifts their previous convictions to serve and live for Christ. This is the challenge that will confront the Mission work and workers that are prepared to take this Mission of Gods plan to the Sahrawi in Morocco. There is hope for all, but who will go and how will the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ be presented to this people? There is hope due to the fact that most of people in this region believe in God; however they do not acknowledge Christ as the savior. With that being stated they do know of Christ, but only in the contexts that he was a great prophet. This presents a challenge, the objective is to present Christ to them as the savior of all humanity not just of those in Western hemisphere but to those everywhere.

HISTORY

The Saharawi in Morocco are what are called the unreached people according to Joshua Project website. They are located in the Northwest corner of Africa, which is quite a ways of from the West. According to the Joshua Project “Originally, the Saharawi were desert nomads who traveled from place to place with their camels.”[2] They can be found in the desert of Morocco, Western Sahara, North Mauritania, Refugee Camps and the Canary Island. They are considered to be “A sub-group of the Moors, they are of mixed Berber, Arab, and black African descent.”[3] They make their living by being Herds men, traders and hunters. How did the Saharawi get to where they are now in the article entitled "Imagining Saharawi women: the question of gender in POLISARIO discourse."

“When the Saharawi’s first fled their country – the former Spanish colony the Western Sahara – for the Hamada region of the Algerian desert in 1975, all able-bodied men were encouraged to depart to the frontline to struggle against the Moroccan and Mauritanian invasion.”[4] The Saharawi’s can be found in Algeria, the Western Sahara, and Libyan and as in France.

The Saharawi’s are direct descendants of “the Arabs ruled region, causing conflict with the Berbers until the end of the 1600's. The Saharawi are descendants of these two groups and their slaves.”[5]

However that has all changed in time right after 1904 when the Spanish gained control. One key factor to their spread across the globe according to the Joshua project was this “Since Spain's withdrawal in 1976, many Saharawi have fled to Algerian refugee camps, returned to the deserts, or joined the Polisario, which continues to demand independence.”[6] This lends credit to their nomadic state or style of life. And according to Nick, Ryan in the text entitled "A forgotten war” “The Saharawi’s are one of history’s forgotten people, formed by waves of conquest and mitigation across North Africa.”[7] War has displaced 170,000 Saharawi’s refuges across the Algeria. And a large majority of them live in tents, out of these camps the Saharawi’s established the Saharawi’s national Liberation movement. This movement is now the self-styled “[8]Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic or (SADR).” Once again they were faced with opposition, but they were recognized by many other regimes to include the (PLO) Palestine Liberation Organization. According to the text the 65,000 that stayed in the Western Sahara were bombed and killed in conflict or have suffered political oppression by its surrounding town and countries. It is evident the Saharawi history is filled with the right to exist in its own land and the ability to govern them self. According to the text the “ The Saharawi’s want to live under Moroccan control or as a separate Nation, but plans for the referendum have run into trouble many times despite two visits from Kofi Anan of the United Nations.”[9] They have a history of being relentless and fearless fighters there is sane they say according to the text “Independence, Independence, Independence-by Peace or by Killing.”[10] And both the young and old fight and even the young woman, all they want is a referendum that will give them their own country, however this does not appear to happened as of yet.

Language

The native langue for the Saharawi in Arabic Moroccan, however, all speak an Arabic dialect called Hassaniya. In addition, their religion, way of life and dress are Arabic in flavor and style.”[11] And according to the text “A forgotten war” “the Saharawi speak one of the purest forms of Arabic, called Hassaniya, and are Sunni Muslims, worshiping without mosques.”[12]

CULTURE AND FAMILY

The Saharawi’s are a group that their lifestyle and culture revolves around a tribal system. According to the web-site the Joshua project it says this about their culture and lifestyle “Saharawi society consists of four main groups: warriors; marabouts, or holy people; tribute payers, who pay taxes to the higher classes; and black slaves. Craftsmen and musicians form separate, low-caste groups.”[13] However change has come “Today, classes serve more as a means of identification rather than a way of life.”[14] Historically the Saharawi’s have been faced with war and the desire to have a UN referendum be approved by the United Nation, this conflict has established the family structure for them. Once again according to the Joshua project it says this about the family dynamic “The Saharawi lives in an area of war and political turmoil. As a result, families have been divided, and many have been displaced in refugee camps.”[15] Again times have changed and there are some good points that have presented themselves to the Saharawi family dynamic “Current society is varied, with some very wealthy Saharawi, and others very poor, still living in the refugee camps.

In Saharawi homes, families sleep on skins covered with blankets.”[16] There few as on sex outside of marriage is vastly different from the views of the West according to the article entitled “Imagining Saharawi women: the question of gender in POLISARIO discourse." by J. Allan said this about the topic “Sex outside of marriage for women is envisaged as contrary to the moral values, traditions and revolutionary spirit of Saharawi society.”[17] In Islam the women do not have the same rights of men and are considered to be subservient to men. However with War and the move to be its own sovereign country the Sahrawi women are emerging as a forced to be reckoned with. And are major role players in bring this task to past, in the article “Imagining Saharawi women: the question of gender in POLISARIO discourse." by J. Allan said this “Women are the signifiers of the nation and the transmitters of its culture. In summary, Saharawi society represents a ‘success story’ that demonstrates that the emancipation of women is not only positive but also possible.”[18]

ECONOMY

According to the Joshua project “Current society is varied, with some very wealthy Saharawi, and others very poor, still living in the refugee camps.”[19] They currently do not have any national exports themselves; however they deal mainly with livestock. However the Country they reside in according to the website Operation World reports this about Morocco “Area: 458,730 sq km Northwest corner of Africa. Fertile coastal areas in the north, Atlas Mountains inland and Sahara Desert to the south and southeast. A further 252,000 sq km of former Spanish Sahara claimed and occupied by Morocco since 1975. Population: 32,777,808 Annual Growth: 1.25% Capital: Rabat Urbanites: 56.7%.”[20]

ECONOMY

[pic]

According to the Joshua project “Agriculture among the Saharawi remains limited, since the average rainfall is only two inches per year.”[21]

RELIGION

The practiced faith or religion in this region of Morocco and among the Saharawi is Islam. And according to the “www.joshuaproject.net” less than two percent are Christian and this is considered to be the least reached region. Another key fact to their religion is this according to the Joshua project

“When the original Berbers were conquered by the Arabs, many fled to the desert, while others were assimilated. All of them, however, accepted the Arab Muslim religion with open hearts. As they embraced their new faith, they carried it with them on their nomadic journeys. Despite their devotion, however, the Berbers retained many of their traditional beliefs. To this day, West African Islam, with its mixture of beliefs, is more tolerant of diversity than Islam elsewhere.”[22] And according to the article entitled “The Cultural Foundations of the Islamist Practice of Charity in Morocco.” has this to say in regard to the country of Morocco “in Morocco, the cultural embedding of Islamist movements involves the still working heritage of maraboutic institutions and beliefs and practices of popular Islam that reconstruct the Islamist lived experience.”[23] However, there is also the practice of Charity that takes place in this region this form of charity may be an in-road to make that first initial contact for missions work. The article describes this form of charity this way “It is embedded within a gift-exchange charitable model that juxtaposes alms-giving with loyalty, which may without doubt lubricate the way for attracting new recruits. It smooths power by turning the donee into a position of a willing loyal supplicant under the power of the dominant donor.”[24] And another fact about the religious practice of the Sahrawi in this region according to the Joshua project is this “While some pre-Islamic beliefs still exist among the Saharawi, they like to think of themselves as pure Muslims.”[25] The belief in God and what God is called to Saharawi is this “Some scholars have mentioned that the Saharawi also worship a god known as Sidi Erbbi, who is paternal and full of life.”[26]

SURVEY OF CURRENT MISSION WORK

Status of the Church

The country of Morocco is an open to Christianity based on data from the following web-site “http://www.operationworld.org/moro” here are the numbers Christians population is 29,000and in regard to Evangelicals population is 4,774. However, this does not mean that this is an impossible task according to the text “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” it says this “In the 1960s, most African countries gained independence from colonial powers. Political change inspired a corresponding change in the Church with a major surge toward indigenous leadership.”[27]

The point is missions work and establishing well political ties with Morocco’s could promote the small but vital battle ground for mission work in regard to Christianity. This is based on the political landscape of the country of Morocco and the Saharawi people of which many are still living in refugee camps that get support from the International Communities. And according to the data from the website http://www.operationworld.org “Arabic Bibles can be imported only in small quantities and Berber Scriptures not at all. Distribution is to be discreet.” But not impossible, one can be somewhat optimistic although how hard the challenge that is before them. And in addition to that the Government is allowing this, according to data from the website www.operationworld.org “Bible translation continues in the three main Berber languages in both Arabic and Berber scripts as well as in Moroccan Arabic.”[28] The text entitled “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” reminds us of the great importance of the work needed in this area by stating this “ The words of Jesus invite us to respond to the dismal state of the world: “ Whatever you did for me one of the least of theses brothers of mine, you did for me.”[29]

The Sahrawi that are living in refugee camps is vast; this also provides a benefit in reaching them. Mainly because they there are some designated areas that are easily found and accessible to International Aid and relief agencies that are working to bring higher education to them. In an article “Internationalization of the Practice in Education Degree: Students' Intercultural Experiences in the Teaching and Learning Process at Saharawi Refugee Camps." Journal of Education and Learning” the study “a group of students from the Special Education Teacher undergraduate course, particularly sensitive to socio-educational reality in disadvantaged contexts, made a request to the different authorities of university to support a visit to in the Saharawi refugee camps in Tindouf- (Algeria).” The point is they were sent to access the level of education the youths had and the general population to determine what tools would be used to educate them. With that being said this type of International studies provides an in and can help in getting them to comprehend the gospel message. Further findings in this study were “and begin the Educational Intervention Project for Education in the Saharawi Camps. During the years of this Project we saw that it was appropriate for them to participate as students of that participate of Primary Education, Special Education, Social Education, Psychology and Education Psychology Degree.”[30] In conclusion, according to this article and its study “This organization and the associated work have been, and continue to be, what has allowed the Saharawi to survive in such a severe a situation. There is a president, a National Assembly and various ministries.”[31] And that is good news it’s a door that is beginning to widen.

How many Believers

As stated earlier in this paper there are less than two percent that are Christians in this region with the Saharawi. Joshua Project defines Evangelical as followers of Christ who generally emphasize: “(1) The Lord Jesus Christ as the sole source of salvation through faith in Him (2) Personal faith and conversion with regeneration by the Holy Spirit (3) A recognition of the inspired Word of God as the only basis for faith and living (4) Commitment to Biblical preaching and evangelism that brings others to faith in Christ.”[32]

Challenges

The challenges this work will face are many some are spiritual and some are carnal, however we must press on. In the book “Introduction to World Missions” it outlines some of them here is one of two “ A recent survey on mission attrition showed that one of the main causes of missionaries from the field returning prematurely from the field was because they were not rooted and grounded in a local church.” [33]Patrick Johnstone (1998, 205-6). It is imperative that the missionary has good and solid roots before they supplant themselves among others. And another challenger that will be facing is working to develop relationship with the Saharawi. The previous text provides three helps in developing cross cultural relationship they are as follows, “initial acquaintance, developing friendship and growth in intimacy.”[34] Another challenge will be language, and their religion of Islam all will be challenging, but not show stoppers. There many tools that can help overcome such challenges learning and understand the culture, the langue, and their Worldview are just a few things that will begin to remove some of the challenges.

PROPOSED STRATEGY

The 10/40 Window

To begin with according to the word of God, and the text “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” having an understanding of the following will be essential, The Meaning of Kingdom of God, according to the text “we must set aside our modern notions”[35] The vision of the Kingdom is needed as well, and its message, and what is the motive of the Kingdom of God. And then we must go, we are ordered to go everywhere. And finally this is not our own work this is God’s work.

The geographic challenges are many, however according to the text and in this area called the 10/40 region the text says this “no valley too isolated, no island too distant. No forest too dense, no mountain too inaccessible, no city too fortified and finally no desert to hostile.”[36] The 10/40 window is defined as this “This is the area between the latitudes 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator and between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.”[37] Patrick Johnstone has said this about this area “For years I called this the resistance Belt.”[38] Due to this area being in North Africa, Asia, Islam, and Hinduism and finally Buddhism they are the natural practiced faiths in this region of the world. It is understandable that most of missionary work focuses on the 10/40 Window, thus true, however significant work still needs to take place outside this particular region.

STRATEGY ONE

Orality

There is of right now no exact textbook strategy to reach the unreached people in Morocco the Sahrawi. However there are several tools that can be used one of which is called Orality. The text says this about making disciples of oral learners “Making disciples of oral learners requires communication forms that are familiar within the culture: stories, proverbs, drama, songs, chants and poetry”[39] This approach will be best applied in this location due to the fact they are in an indigenous area, in refugees camps, and live a tribal lifestyle. And using a literate approach may be to challenging in this area, due to the lack of a solid infrastructure among the Sahrawi.

In this case the use of electronic media such as tapes and movies and pictures and sounds will be very effective may complement an “oral Bible”[40] The use of the oral Bible according to the text will do this “Bible in an oral, sequential pattern helps people to comprehend, remember and re-tell them.”[41] Using the Bible in this way is called “chronological bible storying.”[42] The text says this about story telling the Bible this way “A storying approach to ministry involves selecting and crafting biblical stories with the help of local leaders.”[43] This approach should work well being the fact that it is the elders within the tribal system that are the leaders, and they are the ones who will be able to gather the most respect to get the people to listen. And another form of orality that will work well is called according to the text used previously is called “Secondary orality”[44]. This defined as “secondary orality is also significant influence in cultures with a strong tradition of literacy.” The use of telling stories according to the text “touches not only the mind, it also reaches the seat of emotions and the heart.”[45]

STRATEGY TWO

A Church in Every People

Building a church out of a building in refuges camps is not entirely impossible; however it may not be the most effective way to start out in this region. Since there are numerous tents that serve as mea tents, hospitals and even some for school, and finally Islam in this region do not worship in mosques.

One of the many ways to church planting that will be used will be what is called according to the text “The people movement approach”[46] says this “They arise by tribe-or caste-wise movements to Christ.” The church will begin with the people or in the people the text provides carious options of which is growing the church or congregation by clusters of people. This cluster growth works like this according to the text “This cluster grows best if it is in one people, one caste, one tribe or one segment of society.”[47] One key thing is the tribal mentality of the Sahrawi this should work quite well. And once trained each cluster can be located into each refugee camp. And one important aspect of the cluster is keeping them along with their own people. According to the text the reason for this is “The principle is to encourage converts to remain thoroughly one with their own people in most matters.”[48] And finally in summary “The great advances of the Church on new ground have always come by people movements, never by the “one by one” approach.”[49]

Conclusion

Reaching the unreached people the Sahrawi is going to be a challenge, but when has reaching anyone for Christ ever been easy. There is always opposition and their will continue to be opposition, because the world hates anything that is of God. However, this does not give any Christians the excuse to stop pressing and serving for Christ. Mission’s has been called God’s plan for humanity. This is not will you please go coming from God, but a mandate to go and make disciples everywhere.

Bliography

Allan, J. "Imagining Saharawi women: the question of gender in POLISARIO discourse." Journal Of North African Studies 15, no. 2 (June 2010): 189-202. Humanities International Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed September 25, 2015)

Hurtado, Inmaculada Gómez, J. M. Coronel, M. J. Carrasco, and R. I. Correa. "Internationalization of the Practice in Education Degree: Students' Intercultural Experiences in the Teaching and Learning Process at Saharawi Refugee Camps." Journal of Education and Learning 2, no. 1 (03, 2013): 253-61, (accessed September 25, 2015)

Joshua Project, The Saharawi of Morocco htttp://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/14639/MO

Joshua Project, Definitions and Terms Related to the Great Commission http://www.joshuaproject.net/definitions.php#evangelic

Maarouf, Mohammed. "The Cultural Foundations of the Islamist Practice of Charity in Morocco." Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 24, no. 1 (Spring, 2012): 29-66, http://ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1001337562?accountid=12085. (accessed September 25, 2015)

Martín, Nacho. "Western Sahara: Breaking the Communication Barriers." Fellowship 76, no. 7-9 (Fall, 2010): 10-1, http://ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/815407547?accountid=12085. (accessed September 25, 2015)

Moreau, A. Scott, et al. Introducing World Missions: A Biblical, Historical, and Practical Survey. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004.

Operation World. http://www.operationworld.org/moro(Accessed September 25,2015)

Pezzino, V. (2012). Delivering health care in saharawi refugee camps near tindouf (algeria). Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, 2(2), 92-95. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1319200804?accountid=12085 (accessed September 25, 2015)

Winter, Ralph D., and Steven C. Hawthorne. “ Perspectives on the World Christian Movement”: A Reader. 4th ed. Pasadena, California: William Carey Library, 2009.

Ryan, Nick. "A forgotten war." Geographical May 1999: 40. Academic OneFile. Web. 25 Sept. (accessed September 25, 2015)

-----------------------
[1] Winter, Ralph D., and Steven C. Hawthorne. Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader. 4th ed. Pasadena, California: William Carey Library, 2009., 441.

[2] http://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/14639/MO

[3] Ibid.

[4] Allan, J. "Imagining Saharawi women: the question of gender in POLISARIO discourse." Journal of North African Studies 15, no. 2 (June 2010): 189-202.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ryan, Nick. "A forgotten war." Geographical May 1999: 40. Academic OneFile. Web. 25 Sept.

[8] Ibid., 4.

[9] Ibid., 5.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid., 6.

[13] http://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/14639/MO

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Allan, J. "Imagining Saharawi women: the question of gender in POLISARIO discourse." Journal Of North African Studies 15, no. 2 (June 2010): 189-202. Humanities International Complete, EBSCOhost

[18] Ibid., 6.

[19] http://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/14639/MO

[20] Operation World. http://www.operationworld.org/moro

[21] http://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/14639/MO#

[22] Ibid.

[23] Maarouf, Mohammed. "The Cultural Foundations of the Islamist Practice of Charity in Morocco." Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 24, no. 1

[24] Ibid.

[25] http://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/14639/MO#

[26] Ibid.

[27] Winter, Ralph D., and Steven C. Hawthorne. “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement”: A Reader. 4th ed. Pasadena, California: William Carey Library,2009., 371.

[28] http://www.operationworld.org

[29] Winter, Ralph D., and Steven C. Hawthorne. “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement”: A Reader. 4th ed. Pasadena, California: William Carey Library,2009., 594.

[30] Hurtado, Inmaculada Gómez, J. M. Coronel, M. J. Carrasco, and R. I. Correa. "Internationalization of the Practice in Education Degree: Students' Intercultural Experiences in the Teaching and Learning Process at Saharawi Refugee Camps." Journal of Education and Learning 2, no. 1

[31] Ibid.

[32] Joshua Project, Definitions and Terms Related to the Great Commission http://www.joshuaproject.net/definitions.php#evangelic

[33] Moreau, A. Scott, et al. Introducing World Missions: A Biblical, Historical, and Practical Survey. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004., 222.

[34] Ibid., 233.

[35] Winter, Ralph D., and Steven C. Hawthorne. “ Perspectives on the World Christian Movement”: A Reader. 4th ed. Pasadena, California: William Carey Library, 2009., 84.

[36] Ibid., 547.

[37] Ibid., 548.

[38] Ibid.

[39] Ibid., 437.

[40] Ibid., 438.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Ibid., 439.

[45] Ibid., 441.

[46] Ibid., 628.

[47] Ibid., 629

[48] Ibid.

[49] Ibid.

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