Turk in Austria

Photo Source:  Anonymous 
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People Name: Turk
Country: Austria
10/40 Window: No
Population: 117,000
World Population: 67,389,400
Primary Language: Turkish
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.10 %
Evangelicals: 0.06 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Turkish
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Turkey is a "link" between Asian and European cultures. The Turks represent a great opportunity to create a "fulcrum" church movement that could reach many other Muslim people groups, especially those who speak a related language in Central Asia.
Most Turks live in their home country, but significant numbers live elsewhere. Several million Turks live in Germany alone as either guest workers or German citizens. Many more live throughout North America and European countries like Austria.
Turks first arrived in Austria as temporary construction and industrial workers in 1964. More arrived in 1971 as political refugees. The Austrian government soon passed laws to restrict the number of Turks from arriving and settling in their country. More laws were passed in 1997 and 2006. During this time Austria’s Turkish community has tried to reunite their families in Austria and gain Austrian citizenship. According to Austrian law, one must be a resident for at least 10 years to apply for citizenship.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Relaxation is of the utmost importance to the Turk. Coffee houses are places where men meet to visit and talk politics or business. In general, the Turks are courteous, gentle people who readily show hospitality to strangers. They are also very patriotic and have a deep sense of nationalistic pride and love for their country.
Though traditional ways continue to exist in some areas, the typical Turks lives a secularized, modern urban life, with all the materialistic advantages and temptations that go with it. This is especially true in European cities like Vienna.
Turks in Austria have not always been accepted, especially after Islamic-based terrorist attacks. Turkish women find it difficult to find work, especially those who wear the Muslim headscarf. Within the Turkish family there is often pressure for a woman to stay at home rather than work outside.
Second generation Turks in Austria are underrepresented in universities. The stands in the way of them rising above low paying jobs. Acceptance is coming, but at a slow pace. Turkish Muslims in Austria sometimes face violent attacks, which the majority of Austrians strongly disapprove of.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Turks of Austria are predominantly nominally Sunni Muslim, believing in one God (Allah), and an eternal heaven and hell. However, they also have many ethnic beliefs as well. For example, they believe that men have the power to curse others by giving them the "evil eye." They believe that one is protected against such a curse by wearing blue beads, which the evil eye cannot face. Another way to avoid this cursing glare is to spit in a fire and pray to Allah. Some also believe that if a woman puts fish oil around a door and a man walks through it, he will love her for the rest of his life. Most likely, these beliefs are becoming weaker for those who live in Austria and other European countries.

What Are Their Needs?

Although the Turks have Christian resources (both the Bible and the JESUS Film have been translated into Turkish) available to them in their language and mission agencies have worked among them, they remain strongly Muslim. Prayer alone has the power to break through the strongholds of Islam. Intercessors are needed to daily stand in the gap and pray for the salvation of these precious people.
Negative attributes of modern urban life such as drunkenness, drug use, and prostitution exist. Such an atmosphere can lead to identity crises that could lead individuals to fundamentalist Islam as an answer for societal problems. Postmodern values can also potentially draw Turks in Austria to seek and find the one who is Truth. Jesus offers spiritual answers that begin with self-reflection and repentance rather than a law to follow. The changes are within.

Prayer Points

Ask God to give the Turkish believers boldness to share the gospel with their own people in Austria.
Ask the Lord to save key leaders among the Turks who will boldly declare the gospel.
Pray that many Turks living in Austria will be reached with the gospel and will take it back to Turkey.
Pray for Turks in Europe who are disenchanted will find truth and righteousness in Jesus Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project