Introduction / History 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.
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