Introduction / History
Jews began coming to Turkey during medieval times, many escaping persecution from countries like Spain. At the time, the Ottoman Empire ruled what would become Turkey. Although it was a Muslim empire, Jews were not persecuted, but they had to pay a tax. Today, on the other hand, Turkish Muslims have become anti-Semitic, leading many Jews to move to Israel, where they would be accepted.
Where Are they Located?
Immigrants from Turkey may live anywhere in Israel, but most probably live in the Northern part of Israel, which closer and thus easier to get to from Turkey.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Israel is a modern, first world country. In fact, it has more museums per capita than any other country in the world and some of the best healthcare. Most Israelis work 5-6 days a week, from 8 or 9 in the morning to 5 or 6 at night, and kids 5 to 13 years of age are required to go to school 6 days a week. They have a government very similar to that of Great Britain, with an elected parliament and a prime minister, who holds the most power.
What Are Their Beliefs?
As Jews, they believe the Bible up to the end of the Old Testament. Plus, they believe God promised the land of Israel to Abraham in the book of Genesis. More than one hundred years later, God set them free from Egyptian slavery through Moses, who gave them laws from God, which are recorded in the Bible and make up the books of Exodus through Deuteronomy. Jews believe that salvation comes from strict obedience to these laws. In addition, they also believe in a Messiah to come who would set them free.
What Are Their Needs?
Of course, they need Jesus above all. In addition, Israel has had conflict with their Arab neighbors off and on ever since Israel became a nation in 1917, and they need wisdom and patience to do what is right and just when such problems arise. Also, missionaries will need to find a way to show tolerance for their beliefs while sharing the truth about Jesus at the same time. They fled to Turkey and then to Israel for the purpose of escaping religious persecution. When witnessing to them, we must be loving and Christ-like.
* For loving, compassionate missionaries to be sent to Israel and Turkey
* For peace to exist between Israelis and Arabs
* For Jesus to reveal Himself as the King of the Jews to Jews in Israel and around the world
* For Jews to discover that Jesus really is the Messiah they have been waiting for
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Chandler, Adam. "Troubling News for Turkey's Jews." Tablet Magazine. N.p., 19 Dec. 2012. Web. 23 Feb. 2013.
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