Introduction / History
The Northern Kurd (aka, Kurmanji speakers) are part of a much greater Kurdish population. They are made up of a number of clans, tribes, and tribal confederations, many of which have been in existence for thousands of years. This large people group shares several important and common ties. Not only do they speak closely related languages, but they also share a common culture, geographical homeland, and sense of identity.
The Northern Kurds of Iraq live primarily along the northeastern border of Iraq, touching Iran. Some fled further north to escape the severe persecution of Saddam Hussein and the devastation of the Gulf War. Kurmanji speaking Kurds began to leave Iraq in the early 1990s with Gulf War 1, and their exit has continued till today. Those who are going to Greece hope to eventually go to Germany or some other European country with a stronger economy.
Where are they located?
The Kurmanji speaking Kurds in Greece live mainly in makeshift refugee camps.
What are their lives like?
The Kurmanji speaking Kurds who are arriving in Greece are desperate to escape violence and war in Iraq and Turkey. Many drown on the way to Greece, and their bodies must be shipped back for proper burial.
What are their beliefs?
Nearly all Kurds are Muslim, most being Shafiite Sunnis. They first embraced Islam after the Arab conquests of the seventh century. Today, they primarily look to Islam as a basis for social justice. However, despite being predominantly Muslim, religion has created deep rifts among the Kurds. Many of the dispossessed Kurd minorities have become associated with secret and unorthodox sects like the Yazidis.
What are their needs?
The Kurmanji speaking Kurds need a safe place to live and raise their families. Iraq and Turkey are not safe at this time.
* Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to share the gospel with Northern Kurds.
* Ask God to give the Northern Kurdish believers opportunities to share the love of Jesus with their own people.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of Kurds so that they will be receptive to the gospel.
* Pray that God will raise up strong local churches among the Northern Kurds that will spread into their communities in Iraq.
Text source: Keith Carey