Kurd, Kurmanji in United Kingdom

Kurd, Kurmanji
Photo Source:  manothegreek 
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People Name: Kurd, Kurmanji
Country: United Kingdom
10/40 Window: No
Population: 27,000
World Population: 14,881,100
Primary Language: Kurdish, Northern
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.30 %
Evangelicals: 0.05 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Kurd
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Northern or Kurmanji speaking Kurds are part of a much larger 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 people group shares several important and common ties. The Kurds are the largest people group in the world without their own official country. Not only do Kurds speak closely related languages, but they also share a common culture, geographical homeland, and sense of identity. The Kurdish languages have enough differences that when Kurds speak with one another, they either use one dialect like Kurmanji or they speak a different language like English or Turkish. Generally speaking, Kurds in the UK speak Kurmanji at home and English at work and school.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Kurds living in the UK face a major challenge. How do they fit into a modern Western society and at the same time retain their Kurdish language and culture? Parents send their children to private Kurdish language schools on the weekends so the children will learn to read and write Kurdish and learn Kurdish culture.
While their traditional way of making a living in the Middle East was agriculture and taking care of animals, Kurds today live in cities in the UK and work in other occupations. They own shops and restaurants. They work in trade, retail, construction and manufacturing. Kurdish women in the UK frequently work outside their home. Although they are still modest in behavior, Kurdish women in the UK are not required to wear a veil and are not particularly shy of strange men. Some Kurdish women have successful businesses in the UK.
Some Kurds have integrated into the general society as professional athletes or actors. Others face bullying and discrimination in low-paying jobs. They work for Kurdish companies. The next generation is more likely to work with the general British population. They tell of subtle discrimination.
Any difficulties in a Kurdish family tend to be covered up by the family members. This factor of maintaining a good appearance still shapes the Kurds' ideas.
Kurds are notoriously divided, and that includes the Kurmanji speaking Northern Kurds. Sometimes various Kurds in the UK show overt hostilities to other Kurdish groups. Some who have left Turkey or Iraq have returned to their countries to fight for Kurdish independence.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Nearly all Kurds are Muslim, most being 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. A small number of Northern Kurds in the UK are Shia and others follow a Muslim sect called Yazidism. Yazidis are considered heretics by orthodox Muslims.
The most important holiday of the year for Kurds over all the world is the New Year celebration called Newroz or Nowruz. It starts between March 19 to March 21. The Kurds dance, have special meals, sing, wear traditional clothing, and jump over bonfires.

What Are Their Needs?

The Kurds of UK have followed Islam and the Yazidi religion for hundreds of years. Although they are relatively economically prosperous, spiritually they are poor. Their religion is a part of their identity. Although the Bible and the JESUS Film are available in their language of northern Kurdish, there are still only a tiny number of known believers among them.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to call people to share the gospel with Kurmanji Kurds in the UK.
Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of Kurmanji Kurds in the UK so that they will be receptive to Christ. Pray that God will raise up strong fellowships of believers among the Kurds in the UK leading to an unstoppable movement to Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project