The official language of Algeria is Arabic, and the national language is Berber. However, as Algeria was a French colony for 132 years (1830-1962), French is still widely used in business and education. Algeria also has seventeen ethnic languages, one of which is Chenoua, or Chenoui.

There are 81,000 speakers of Chenoua living in northwest Algeria. They are descendants of the Berbers, a North African people group who were conquered by Muslim invaders in the seventh century. There are no Scriptures in Chenoua; in fact, no writing system has ever been devised for that language. There are no gospel recordings or films; the people are in darkness with no witness.

A law implemented in 2008 makes any religious activity not regulated by the state a crime, and persecution from Sunni Islam, the state religion, is intensifying. Is it right to conclude the task of taking the gospel to the Chenoua’s to be impossible? Should we not rather ask God to intervene?  Jesus did not tell us to pray for laborers for the easy places, but rather for the harvest field. And the Chenoua are a part of His harvest.

Spring 2012