Jewish, Dutch in Curacao

Jewish, Dutch
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People Name: Jewish, Dutch
Country: Curacao
10/40 Window: No
Population: 400
World Population: 33,200
Primary Language: Dutch
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Jewish
Affinity Bloc: Jewish
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Curacao is a group of Caribbean islands 40 miles north of Venezuela, South America. Though the Spanish Empire had the upper hand in most of this region, the Dutch tried to take part of this land. Suriname (northern South America) and Curacao were two places where the two European empires collided. In 1634, the Dutch took Curacao from the Spanish Empire, and Dutch settlers began to arrive. Among them were Jewish settlers, one of which was Samuel Cohen who was part of the Dutch conquering forces.
These islands weren't suitable for agriculture, so many of the early Jewish colonists became traders and merchants. They had to trade with Spanish colonies to obtain their food. In exchange they offered textiles and plantation equipment, though a few were slave traders.
A high percentage of colonists were Jewish in the 1700s and 1800s. Commonly, men had to travel, leaving behind Jewish women. Jewish women outnumbered men in Curacao. Many of them never married. They spent their time getting better education and helping charitable projects.
In the 20th Century Jews arrived as refugees from the German Nazis. Others fled the oppression of the Soviet Union. Jewish communities blended, merged and often moved elsewhere.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today the Jewish population in Curacao is very small, but their influence is large. The local language, Papiamentu, has many Hebrew words. The Jews maintains a Jewish Cultural Historical Museum and a Jewish school. There is still the Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue for their social and spiritual needs. A Jewish family established the Maduro & Curiel's Bank, which is headquartered in Curacao.

What Are Their Beliefs?

For religious Jews, God is the Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe, and the ultimate judge of human affairs. Beyond this, the religious beliefs of the Jewish communities vary greatly. Orthodox Jews generally follow the traditional religious beliefs and practices found in the Jewish literature that interprets Scripture regarding ethical, religious, civil and criminal matters. Conservative Judaism is less traditional than Orthodox and combines different ethical, philosophical, and spiritual schools of thought. Reform Judaism is the most liberal form and interprets Jewish beliefs and practices in light of contemporary life and thought. Reform Jews do not believe that the Jewish Law is divinely revealed. They are not restricted to kosher (traditional, approved) foods, nor do they wear the skull cap (yarmulke) when praying or use Hebrew in prayer. All religious Jews believe in the coming of a Messianic Age, but only the Orthodox Jew looks for a personal Messiah.

What Are Their Needs?

The Jews understand their connection with the Abrahamic covenant. However, they also have a history of rejecting Jesus Christ as Messiah, the one who fulfilled that covenant. Jewish people need to understand Jesus as the fulfillment of what God promised humanity through Abraham centuries ago.
Unfortunately, "Jewishness" is often defined in secular terms such as the use of Yiddish words and family traditions, rather than in spiritual aspects, such as looking to the God of Abraham for all their needs. This attitude keeps Jewish people from finding spiritual truth that would lead them to their Messiah.

Prayer Points

Pray for Jewish people to have a hunger for truth and righteousness that will lead them to their Messiah.
Pray that God will grant Jewish background believers favor as they share their faith in Christ with Jewish people.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to prepare and thrust out Christ's ambassadors to the Jewish communities.
Pray for a movement to Christ among each Jewish community.

Text Source:   Joshua Project