Zaza-Alevi in Greece

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) insurgents from the homeland of the Zaza-Alevi. Less than 10 percent of the Zaza-Alevi have returned to their homes. The Zaza-Alevi are the target of both the Turkish military and PKK militants. 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 can be persecuted.

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 Islam. 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 segue to the gospel.

What Are Their Needs?

The Zaza-Alevica are rejected by Muslims. As a despised people, the Zaza-Alevica need to be shown the love of Jesus in practical ways. Perhaps Christian educators in Europe 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 of the only Savior and his forgiveness.
Ask the Lord to raise up disciples among the Zaza-Alevi of Greece that will make more disciples.

Scripture Prayers for the Zaza-Alevi in Greece.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

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 25,000
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
ROP25 Code 304412
ROP25 Name Kurd
Country Greece
Region Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Evros border region. Rhodes Island   Source:  News article
Country Greece
Region Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Evros border region. Rhodes Island.   Source:  News article
Map of Zaza-Alevi in Greece
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 %
Primary Language Zazaki, Northern (25,000 speakers)
Language Code kiu   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Zazaki, Northern (25,000 speakers)
Language Code kiu   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Zazaki, Northern

Primary Language:  Zazaki, Northern

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2018-2023)
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
FCBH NT ( Online
YouVersion NT ( Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Gospel videos General / Other
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Zazaki, Northern Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app: Zazaki, Northern YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Zazaki, Northern YouVersion Bibles
Photo Source Müge Yildiz - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group location: Bilal Selim Filiz. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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