The Kurds are the fourth largest ethnic group in the Middle East and the largest group of people in the world without a country. They have lived in these areas for thousands of years and have seen empires and national powers come and go. Many of the areas they live in are beautiful and rich with resources. Pray...
The Middle East is full of complex social problems. I am not a politician, activist or sociologist. I am just a man who wants to be a good friend to my Kurdish and Turkish neighbors. Many Kurds are desperately trying to establish their identity in the eyes of the world. Kurds are distinct from Turks and Arabs. The existing nations that they call home each wish they would simply assimilate into the culture of that nation. Those who have refused to assimilate have a culture that sets them apart from the others in language and tradition. There is fault on both sides and a long history of conflict, torture and terrorism. Even now in Turkey many Turks refuse to acknowledge the Kurds and simply call them “mountain Turks”.
The Kurds, considered by many to be the most oppressed people in history, often refer to themselves as those who “have no friends but the mountains.” They are the largest people group in the world without a homeland and have endured centuries of conquest and suppression.
Most of us are familiar with the Kurds because of recent world events, but their history begins in Biblical times. Their ancestors, the Medes, are found in many Old Testament stories. The Garden of Eden may have been situated in the land now known as “Kurdistan.” Many biblical figures lived and died in this land including Noah, Esther, Jonah, Habakkuk and Daniel. Many of the cities and regions represented on the day of Pentecost are located in the Kurds homeland, Kurdistan.
Just twenty years ago it was illegal to speak Kurdish in Turkey. Currently, there are politicians in prison for speaking Kurdish in parliament. There are a great number of Turkish Kurds who are illiterate in their own language because of the repression. Turkish is the national language and is taught in schools but often schools in the southeast portion of Turkey lack funding to educate children in reading and writing. Despite the repression, Northern Kurdish is the dialect spoken by most Turkish Kurds today and if they have been able to attend school children can speak Turkish.
We begin with so many ideas of who muslim people are and many of them are just not true. If you are willing to explore the different people in the middle east you will discover that most of them are born into muslim families and therefore are muslim by default. They didn’t have a choice. Most of the muslim world is nominal and can’t even explain some of the basics of Islam. They also think all americans are Christians, including Charlie Sheen, Justin Beiber and Myle Cyrus. The bridge of relationship must be built so that the truth of Jesus Christ can be understood and received.