Kurds around the Middle East

middle_east-map| · Kurdish Population: 26.15 million (approx.)
| · Turkey: 13 Million Iran: 5.5 Million
| · Syria: 1.2 Million Azerbaijan: 1.15 Million
| · Iraq: 4.1 Million Other: 1.2 Million

The Kurds are the largest ethnic group without a land

The Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world without their own homeland and the fourth largest block of people in the Middle East. For more than 4,000 years the Kurds have inhabited the Zagros Mountains, the Mesopotamian Plains, Taurus Mountains and Mt Ararat. This rugged mountainous region has provided a sanctuary from oppression and is their heartland, the single most important natural feature of Kurdistan. Kurdistan is not found on most maps but comprises the area of eastern Turkey, eastern Syria, northern Iraq, north-west Iran and southern Azerbaijan.

Exact estimates of the Kurdish population is difficult and contentious, in some countries it is politically beneficial to minimize their numbers, while many Kurdish political groups feel it necessary to exaggerate their numbers. In Turkey, Kurds are not counted as Kurds in population census yet they comprise almost 30% of the total population.

The Kurds are a people with no friends

Converted to Islam in 7th century, the Kurds are essentially Sunni Muslims yet they adhere to a diversity of tribal and family structures and local religious practices. History traces the Kurds as descendants of Indo-European tribes who settled in the mountainous regions of where they are found today. They are thought to be the direct descendants of the Medes and have retained their identity throughout the Ottoman and Persian empires. The Kurds are a significant people group in the Middle East and their aspirations for national identity will continue to be strongly expressed.

Traditionally a pastoral and nomadic people, yet today, most Kurds live in cities and large villages. However, Kurdistan remains a land rich in agricultural and natural resources.

A people faced with continual conflict from within and from without. In recent years many lives have been lost through these uprising and invasions and they often refer to themselves as a people with no friends. Enemies on all sides, hated and despised by their own fellow Muslims. These people need to know of a God who loves them so much, that he has sent His only Son as an atonement for their sins.

Prayer Guide for the Kurds

* Pray for these people to receive a revelation of the healing power of the Cross, and the grace and mercy of a God who loves them.

* Pray for the children and youth of this generation to want peace, and to be willing to make every effort to restore their lands.

* Pray for the Kurds, especially the leaders of each community to find Jesus and to be able to lead their families to know Him also.

* Ask God to raise up peacemakers, where there is hatred, may they bring peace. Pray for wise and just leaders to be raised up across all these communities and political fractions.

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