Bosniak in Bosnia-Herzegovina


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Bosniaks are an ethnic group living in the Southeastern part of Europe, mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is proposed that their 'genetic roots' are reflective of numerous pre-historic components, especially signatures thought to be 'autochthonous' to the Dinaric region, where the historical Illyrians later appeared.
The earliest known inhabitants of the area now known as Bosnia and Herzegovina were the Illyrians, who spoke a language related to modern Albanian. The Romans conquered Illyria after a series of wars, and Latin-speaking settlers from all over the empire settled among the Illyrians.
In the Seventh Century, Slavs settled in Bosnia, Herzegovina, and the surrounding lands. In 1463 the Turkish Ottoman Empire conquest at that time the independent Bosnian kingdom and it was the beginning of the influence of Islamic Civilization in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Considering the fact that the religious situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina before the Turkish conquest was complex and unclear, the large number of Slav population in Bosnia- Herzegovina converted to Islam. Prior to 1463, Eastern Orthodoxy was probably limited to the upper Drina River valley, which was predominantly Orthodox. The rest of Bosnia was nominally Roman Catholic, with a large segment of the population belonging to an indigenous Bosnian Church (Krstjani). The Krstjani were considered heretics by both the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. Modern historians have debated whether the Krstjani were a branch of the Bogomils, a Manichean sect which originated in Bulgaria, or whether they were members of the Roman Catholic church who had acquired some heretical beliefs and influences from Eastern Orthodoxy and fell into Schism. Part of the resistance of the Bosnian Church was political; during the fourteenth century, the Roman Church placed Bosnia was placed under a Hungarian bishop, and the schism may have been motivated by a desire for independence from Hungarian domination. Because of Bosnia's mountainous and inaccessible terrain and its remote location on the borderland between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, control by church authorities was weak. Historically it was thought that the Krstjani, who were persecuted by both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, accounted for many of the converts to Islam.
Although the Ottomans did not, as a rule, actively seek to convert their Christian subjects to Islam, it is thought that the greater rights afforded to Muslims in the Ottoman Empire motivated Christians to convert to Islam.
As the Ottoman Empire began to contract after the defeat at Vienna in 1683, many Muslim refugees from the lost Ottoman territories in Croatia, Slavonia, Hungary, and many centuries later Serbia found refuge in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and were assimilated into the local Bosniak population.
After the Second World War, Bosnia and Herzegovina became one of the six republics of Socialistic Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. In Yugoslavia, unlike the preceding Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bosniaks were not allowed to declare themselves as Bosniaks. As a compromise, the Constitution of Yugoslavia was amended in 1968 to list Muslims by nationality recognizing a nation, but not the Bosniak name. The Yugoslav "Muslim by nationality" policy was considered by Bosniaks to be neglecting and opposing their Bosnian identity because the term tried to describe Bosniaks as a religious group not an ethnic one. When Bosnia declared independence from Yugoslavia, most people who used to declare as Muslims began to declare themselves as Bosniaks. Most Bosniaks identify themselves with Bosnia and Herzegovina as their ethnic state and are part of such a common nation.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Bosniaks in Bosnia-Herzegovina must face high unemployment. Those who have jobs suffer from low wages. The population is aging since younger Bosniaks are looking outside their country for adequate employment.
Bosniaks takes pride in the melancholic folk songs "sevdalinke", the precious medieval filigree manufactured by old Sarajevo craftsmen, and a wide array of traditional wisdoms that are carried down to newer generations by word of mouth, and in recent years written down in numerous books.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Bosniaks are Sunni Muslim, although historically Sufism has also played a significant role among them.
For many Bosniaks, Islamic identity has more to do with cultural roots than with religious beliefs. Even among most religious Bosniaks, there is a disdain for religious leaders exercising any influence over day-to-day life. Bosniaks are no different than other Muslims in that they view Islam from the foundation that is their culture.


What Are Their Needs?

The Bosnians are one of Europe's least evangelized peoples. Although there are missions agencies currently working among the Bosnians of Bosnia-Herzegovina, very few have accepted Christ. Prayer is the key to reaching them with the gospel.


Prayer Points

Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of Bosnians toward Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
Pray that God will grant wisdom and favor to the missions agencies that are currently working among Bosnians.
Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to Bosnia-Herzegovina and share Christ.
Ask God to encourage the few known Bosnian believers in this region.
Pray that God will meet the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of Bosnians.
Ask the Lord to raise strong local churches among Bosnians.
Ask God to raise prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.


Scripture Prayers for the Bosniak in Bosnia-Herzegovina.


References

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17211415
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosnians
https://www.dw.com/en/bosnia-herzegovina-still-struggles-30-years-after-the-war/a-61381740#:~:text=Nowadays%2C%20the%20western%20Balkan%20state%20has%20just%203.2,and%20more%20and%20more%20young%20people%20are%20leaving.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Bosniak
People Name in Country Bosniak
Pronunciation BOZZ-nee-ak
Alternate Names Bosniac; Muslimani; Muslmani; Musselmani
Population this Country 1,606,000
Population all Countries 3,151,000
Total Countries 24
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 32
People ID 10953
ROP3 Code 101629
ROP25 Code 301389
ROP25 Name Bosniak
Map of Bosniak in Bosnia-Herzegovina Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Subdivision: Sunni
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.03 %)
0.03 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
95.00 %
Non-Religious
4.97 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Primary Language Bosnian (1,606,000 speakers)
Language Code bos   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Bosnian (1,606,000 speakers)
Language Code bos   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Bosnian
Photo Source Michał Huniewicz - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group location: IMB. 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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