People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Kurd, Kurmanji in Syria

Kurd, Kurmanji

Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Kurd, Kurmanji in Syria map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
1,793,000 Kurdish, Northern Islam 0.13 % 0.06 %   

Kurd, Kurmanji in Syria

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
Kurds represent only eight percent of the population of Syria. They live in three main regions of Syria which, though politically an integral part of the country, are ethnically connected to Kurdistan.

The Kurd-Dagh, or "mountain of the Kurds," is located in the extreme northwestern part of the country. This is also the westernmost part of Kurdistan and the only populated mountain area in Syria. Cereals, vines, figs, and mulberries grow there. In higher altitudes, there are oak forests. Olive trees can also be grown since the Mediterranean is so close.

The country's largest Kurdish population lives just east of the Euphrates River. This piece of land is more than 175 miles long and stretches across the northern section of the Iraqi frontier. This region was settled by Kurdish tribes and other mountain peasants who were fleeing Turkish Kurdistan. They eventually became permanent settlers there.

What are their lives like?
The Kurds of Syria are essentially peasants. Their cultivation system is intensive in the mountainous Kurd-Dagh region and also strong in the other two regions. They also own large herds of sheep and goats, and produce dairy products. Many of the Western Kurds are skilled in weaving kilims (patterned, flat-woven, wool rugs). On the Kurd-Dagh, some make olive oil and charcoal, which are exported. These endeavors supplement their farming incomes.

Only about 20 percent of the Syrian Kurds live in cities. Those that do rely heavily on petty trading and handicrafts to earn a living.

In August of 1961, Syria held a special census claiming that the Kurds were "illegally infiltrating" the country in order to "destroy Arab character." As a result of the census, almost 120,000 Kurds lost their Syrian citizenship. Many were forced to leave their homeland to make room for Arabs.

In 1963, their situation worsened. Syria attempted to prove that the Kurds did not constitute a nation, claiming that their only characteristics were those which had been shaped by force, destructive power, and violence. A 12-point plan to minimize Kurdish influence in Syria was devised and many were implemented. They included such things as depriving them of educational opportunities and medical facilities, as well as deportation. The Kurds were subjected to regular administrative harassment, police raids, firings, and confiscation orders. Officials seized Kurdish literary works, as well as any recordings of Kurdish folk music played in public places.

Fortunately, in 1976, President Hafiz Assad officially renounced any further implementation of the plans to transfer the Kurds. He decided to allow them to be left alone and no longer be subjected to such harrassment.

What are their beliefs?
Nearly all Kurds are Muslims, most being Shafite Sunnis. They first embraced Islam after the Arab conquests of the seventh century. Today, they look to Islam as a basis for social justice. Ironically, however, religion has created deep rifts among the Kurds. Many of their communities are separated because of this issue. Nevertheless, Islam in generally is respected and is appealed to as a basis for social justice. Religious dignitaries are treated with respect. They are also sought after for political reasons, proving that their struggle for identity is greater than their struggle for religious unity.

What are their needs?
Throughout their history, the Kurds have never had a country to call their own. Neither have they been free to express their own culture. They have been persecuted and displaced throughout their past. The Kurds need to know the peace, love, and security that can only be found through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points
Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to Syria and share Christ with the Kurds.
Pray that God will supply clean water for the Kurds.
Ask the Lord to raise up Christian medical teams who can take supplies and expertise to the Kurds.
Ask God to encourage and protect the small number of Kurdish Christians.
Ask the Holy Spirit to soften their hearts towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
Pray that God will open the hearts of Syria's governmental leaders to the Gospel.
Ask the Lord to raise up a strong local church among the Kurds.

View Kurd, Kurmanji in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-12-17
Global Prayer Digest: 2016-12-17
  Submit Update:
Country: Syria
Continent: Asia
Region: Africa, North and Middle East
Persecution Rank:12 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Al Hasakah Governorate, area on border northwest of Al Hasakah city; Halab Governorate, north of reservoir along Euphrates; Ar Raqqah Governorate, area surrounding capital; other possible locales: northern Cizire (Qamishlok), Kurd-Dagh (Ciyayê Kurdî, Afrin), Ain-Arab; Allepo, Damascus.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
Submit Map:
Country Map:Political map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Kurd, Kurmanji
People Name General: Kurd, Kurmanji
Alternate People Names:
Turkish KurdYazidi
ROP3 Code: 105458
Joshua Project People ID: 12877
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 1,793,000
Population all Countries: 16,404,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
People Cluster: Kurd
People Name General: Kurd, Kurmanji
Ethnic Code: CNT24c
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Kurdish, Northern (1,793,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): kmr    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.13 %(Evangelical: 0.06 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.87 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 1856-2016
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 2008
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOral Bible Stories
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoGod's Story video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Kurdish, Northern
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMagdalena video
Film / VideoMy Last Day video, anime
Film / VideoRivka video
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children
Film / VideoWorld Christian Videos
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralBiblical answers to your questions
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralWalk with the Prophets and meet the Mess ...
GeneralZume Training
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app from Google Pla ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Comic Book Version
Text / Printed MatterBible: Kurdish, Northern
Text / Printed MatterIBT, Russia - resources
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed MatterLiteracy primer for Kurdish, Northern
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Kurd, Kurmanji in Syria

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Kurd     Africa, North and Middle East    
      Kurd, Kurmanji Syria    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Kurd, Kurmanji in Syria          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Kurdish, Northern  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: