Introduction / History
The Zaza are a nomadic people in Turkey. The Zaza live in the middle-eastern part of Turkey. The majority of Zaza people consider themselves to be a part of the Kurdish people, and have much in common with the Zaza Kurds. However, the Zaza people can trace their roots to the Persians and Medes. The Zaza language is similar to the north-Caspian (Armenian) spoken language and belongs to the Indo-European language family.
Where are they located?
They live in the middle-eastern part of Turkey.
What are their lives like?
Zaza society is traditionally patriarchal, and their traditions and history are passed on orally. The Zaza people remain largely illiterate. They live in valleys and mountains as nomadic people, shepherding their livestock and relying on agricultural products.
What are their beliefs?
The primary religion of the Zazas is Sunni Islam, but the Zaza people consider themselves to be Alevi Muslims (a Shi'ite sect of Islam), a mystical faith with strong shamanistic and Zoroastrian roots. There is a very complicated, even sacred, relationship between Islam and the natural world.
What are their needs?
Secularism makes Zaza people change their religious structure nowadays. Their spiritual leaders no longer have power in Zaza society and the community cannot provide the individual needs. Zaza have a lot of hidden marriage problems and dysfunctional family relations. This often causes the Zaza people to cry out to God for help. God does not want this small ethnic group to miss out His mission. They need to hear the message of our Redeemer even though they cannot read the Bible and depend on learning the stories.
ReferencesView Zaza-Dimli in all countries.
Burnett, David. Clash of Worlds. London UK: Monarch Pub., 1990.
Hiebert, Paul G. Anthropological Insights for Missionaries Michigan, USA: Baker Academic, 1995
Kaya, Mehmed S. The Zaza Kurds of Turkey: A Middle Eastern minority in a Globalised Society (Library of Modern Middle East) Tauris Academic UK, 2011
Packer, J. I. Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God: Christian Books for the Modern World London, UK: InterVarsity Press, 1961
Robson, Colin. Real World Research: A Resource for Users of Social Research Methods in Applied Settings. 3rd ed. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011
Senior, Donald & Carroll Stuhlmueller. The Biblical Foundations for Mission. London: SCM Press, 1983
Benanav, Michael and Benjamin Rabbach. The Alevis of the Munzur Vally. Accessed 18 November, 2015.
http://www.munzurvalley.com/#intro2 Blanchard, Christopher M. Islam: Sunnis and Shiites. Congressional Research Service, 28 January 2009. Accessed 23 November 2015.
https://fas.org/irp/crs/RS21745.pdf Burak Sansal "All about Turkey". Accessed 20 November 2015.
http//www.allaboutturkey.com/ottoman.htm Encyclopedia Britannica online. "Cross-cousin Anthropology." Accessed 23 November 2015 http://www.britannica.com/topic/cross-cousin Gippert, Jost and P. Leceq. What do you know about Zaza People in Turkey? Accessed 14 November 2015.
https://www.englishforums.com/English/WhatAboutZazaTurkey/vczn/post.htm Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing Press: Contemporary Books and Poetry for the Independent Reader. Accessed 19 November 2015. http://self.gutenberg.org/article/whebn0002569084/zaza%20people Werner, Eberhard. "Considerations about the religions of the Zaza people." International Symposium of the Zaza Language. Turkey, Bingol University. 2012. Accessed 16 November 2015. http://www.sil.org/system/files/reapdata/75/99/44/75994446654612360130387921608243337193/Some_Thoughts_about_the_Religions_of_the_Zaza_People_Dr_Eberhard_Werner.pdf