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Tracking Diaspora On Unreached Peoples Now Possible

People groups migrate. Some of this information is available to us. The problem is that we don’t know where they are in those countries they have migrated to. For example, 125,000 Berber Rif live in France. But where in France? We need to know what cities and possibly even where in those cities they can be located. Until now, tracking diaspora (migration) of people groups has not been very specific. Thanks to Allan L. (a people group researcher), and Google maps, we finally have a simple and powerful way to track the migration of people groups. See the new Etnopedia Diaspora Portal here: This is a different portal just for maps that is part of the Etnopedia project. Each people profile can link to its corresponding diaspora map. 

Diaspora information has primarily been tracked on only about 300 people groups, mostly mega peoples over 1 million in population. Out of the approximately 11,000 known peoples in the world, only about 900 live in three countries or more. Many people groups live on borders of two countries. About 8,300 of the 11,000 known people groups are recorded living in only one country.
On Etnopedia you will now see diaspora information on the people profiles. For example you will see all four countries that the Berber Rif are recorded living in. We started adding the diaspora information last year. Now on many profiles, you will see a list of 4 or 5 countries and their populations in those countries. The Berber Rif profile shows the known population and four populations in those countries they live in:

Berber, Rif
Population: 2,901,000 [2010]
Morocco 1,932,000
Algeria 691,000
France 125,000
Netherlands 153,000

But now that we know that there are about 125,000 of the 2.9 million Berber Rif in France, what can we do about it? Where are they in France? What cities are they in? Which areas of the city are they living in? We need to know where they are in order to reach out to them in France.

Some people groups who migrate in mass and settle in another country in some senses become another people group. There are probably very few of these groups that we have data on. Allan L. calls this “Trans-Nationalization”. If this were the case for the Berber Rif in France, they would really need to be considered a different people group (for evangelization purposes) and be given another profile under a different name. (e.g. French Berber Rif). We would separate them into two profiles on Etnopedia. That is, IF we had more information from field researchers telling us that the barrier of understanding or acceptance between the group in France and the group in Morocco was significant enough to warrant a separate missionary effort. We do not know this, so the Berber Rif retains one people profile with four countries listed.

Another good reason we should show diaspora information is because you will be able to get into France as a missionary and minister to them more easily than in Morocco. I have heard testimonies that the people groups are also more open when they are away from their home countries. This concept is not about making cross-cultural missions easier on the missionary though. In the case of the Berber Rif living in France, they are probably still closely related to those in Morocco and do not need to be considered two different people groups. You might reach them in France and then be able to say we have reached the Berber Rif as a people. There are some pretty complex exceptions to this norm, but they are very few in comparison to the number of known peoples and even fewer that we have data for.

Until the missionary effort can provide specific data to us about the Berber Rif in France, they can’t be tracked on the Etnopedia diaspora mapping portal. The people profile shows France 125,000, and that’s all we have. But we need to make the tool available so that specific diaspora tracking can happen. It could be that we don’t have much diaspora data because a tool hasn’t been available. You could send diaspora data to a global people group research effort. But they may be understaffed or just don’t have a system in place to deal with 125,000 Berber Rif in France, (Paris 28,000), (Bordeaux 14,000) and (Marseille  38,000). They are all doing a heroic job but unfortunately there are very few unreached people group researchers. More people need to get involved. If each Christian who knew about a people group would update the profile and map, we would be much further down the road.

There is a lot of talk about diaspora and that we need to reach the nations as the thought is that “they are coming to us”. At least the ones that we know of are “coming to us”. We need to realize that the remaining unreached people groups that still have no access to the Gospel are not mega peoples and we do not have diaspora information for them. They may never be found in our home countries for that matter. Those of us who attempt to look for them might just not know what to look for.

Furthermore, the smaller more isolated unreached people groups (below 100,000 in population) may not be migrating. This is what the data tells us. They may not want to integrate with modern society. Or they may not have the finances or enough education or training to migrate to a city and then find work. We will still have to go to most of the unreached peoples. “Incarnational ministry” is still the priority to finish the Great Commission. The late Dr. Ralph Winter once said “Missions means a change of location”.

There are some concerns about displaying exactly where a people group lives in a city. (you can see an example if you zoom all the way into Paris on the diaspora portal). This it is a work in process and we are starting simple. Let us know your thoughts.

Let’s say that you want to find out where the Berber Rif are in Paris. A manual for finding your people group is on the way. Allan L. has many years of experience tracking people group migration and has offered to create a manual on how to locate your people group in your city or country. It will also have information on how to locate evangelistic resources so you can minister to these groups in a culturally acceptable way. Look for the manual to appear on the diaspora portal this year.

We thank the Lord for using Allan. Now a tool is available to specifically show where people groups live outside their home country. See the Etnopedia diaspora portal here: .  Join the effort and begin tracking your unreached people groups migration!