Zaza-Alevi in Germany

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Zaza-Alevi consider themselves to be Kurdish, but their language is unintelligible to Kurds. Instead of Kurmanji, they speak their own language, Northern Zazaki.
In the 1990s, the Turkish military began a scorched-earth effort to root out armed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) members from the homeland of the Zaza-Alevi. Less than 10 percent of them have returned to their homes. The Zaza-Alevi are the target of both the Turkish military and PKK insurgents. For that reason, many tried to flee to either Greece or Germany.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Zaza-Alevi people have sometimes needed to flee from Turkey's Kurdistan to either Germany or Greece. The more fortunate ones are given asylum as refugees. The less fortunate must return to a place where they might be persecuted. They are rejecte by Kurds and Turks. That isolates them from both of these well-represented ethnic groups in Germany.

Do you know what it's like to not fit in? The Zaza-Alevi people living in Germany do. They consider themselves Muslims but have retained some ancient beliefs, giving them the label "heretic" by orthodox Sunni Muslims.
What Are Their Beliefs?

The Zaza-Alevica people have a system of beliefs is unacceptable to Sunni Muslims. They have mixed many elements of various religions and traditions with their Islamic beliefs. For example, they believe mountain goats and other living things are sacred. This harkens back to elements of Zoroastrianism and tribal religion. Unlike Muslims, Zaza-Alevica do not observe the five fundamental requirements of Islam. Of particular distaste to ordinary Sunni Muslims is their failure to observe cleansing rituals before prayer. Some describe them as part of the eclectic Alevi religion rather than Muslim. The Zaza-Alevica however, insist that it is the condition of the heart and mind that is important, not the outward rituals. This foundational belief might be a Segway to the gospel.

What Are Their Needs?

As an outcast, despised people, the Zaza-Alevica need to be shown the love of Jesus in practical ways. Perhaps Christian educators will have open doors to reach them with the message of salvation.

Prayer Points

Pray for loving, bold workers to go to the Zaza-Alevica people with the life-changing gospel.
Pray for the wide distribution of the New Testament in the Northern Zazaki language.
Pray that the Lord would convict the hearts of the Zaza of their need for the only savior.
Ask the Lord to raise up disciples among the Zaza-Alevi in Germany that will make more disciples.

Scripture Prayers for the Zaza-Alevi in Germany.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-04-02
People Name General Zaza-Alevi
People Name in Country Zaza-Alevi
Pronunciation ZAH-zah AH-lah-wye
Alternate Names Alevi; Kirmandz; Kurd; Northern Zaza
Population this Country 30,000
Population all Countries 264,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 10252
ROP3 Code 100225
Country Germany
Region Europe, Western
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Many major cities   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Country Germany
Region Europe, Western
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Many major cities.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Map of Zaza-Alevi in Germany
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Photo Source Müge Yildiz - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group location: Joshua Project, Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.