Druze in Israel

Main Language
Largest Religion
Other / Small (Druze)
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Druze refer to themselves as 'Mowahhidoon' (plural) or 'Mowahhid' (singular), which means "monotheistic". They are commonly referred to as "Druze", a name derived from el-Drzi, the name of one of the known propagandists of the Druze religion at its beginning. There are sources suggesting that the Druze were a people of their own even before conversion to the faith of al-Hakim, a Muslim caliph. Unsubstantiated theories say the Druze are descendants of Persian colonists, while another theory says they are of Christian descent, from the time of the crusades. The latter is not very likely, because the first crusade came about 80 years after al-Hakim's disappearance. Druze do not seek their own country, but they are loyal to the country which governs their land. They can be found in Israel, Lebanon, and Syria, and are said to be the best warriors because they are not afraid to die.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Druze have lived in parts of northern Israel since the 16th century, and with the establishment of the State in 1948, joined their destiny with the people of Israel. Over the years, more than 300 of their men have given their lives in the country's defense. The Druze have yet to reap the full benefits of the society they do so much to defend. Israel has worked to address the community's needs by connecting Druze villages to utility networks, upgrading health services, and adopting an initiative to boost academic achievement among the mainstream students.
Druze are village and mountain dwellers, attached only to their individual plots of land and property, harboring no separatist national aspirations. They follow a lifestyle of isolation. Conversion, both to and from their faith is forbidden. Soon after the religion was founded, they stopped making new converts and have instead perpetuated themselves through their children. Until recently, most girls were married between the ages of 12 and 15, and most men at the age of 16 or 17. When Druze live among people of other religions, they try to blend in, to protect their religion and for safety. They can pray as Muslims or as Christians, depending on where they are living. This system seems to now be changing in response to higher security, allowing Druze to be open about their religious beliefs. Druze have earlier been reported to practice polygamy, but there is no evidence of this practice among Druze today. Druze abstain from wine and tobacco, as there are clear prohibitions against any practice that could involve profanity of their religion. Druze have a strong sense of community, and they consider themselves related, even across country borders. If a Druze man or woman becomes a follower of Jesus Christ, he or she will be excluded from the Druze community.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The religion of the Druze began in the 9th century AD, as a sect of Islam. Darazi, a preacher, and Hamza ibn Ali ibn Ahmad, a Persian mystic, were instrumental in popularizing the religion. They announced that God had manifested himself in human form as al-Hakim Bi-amr Allah (985 or 996-1021 AD), a Muslim caliph from Cairo, Egypt. They now believe that Darazi began to distort the message; his writings are now considered blasphemous.
Druze hold the Koran to be sacred, but look upon it as an outer shell, holding an "inner, esoteric meaning". Their religious texts are known collectively as "Kitab Al Hikma", the book of wisdom. This is a collection of books, of which the first six are most used. They are firmly monotheistic, believing in a single God. They recognize seven major prophets, including Adam, Abraham, and Jesus (who they believe only to be the son of Joseph). Each major prophet had seven minor prophets; each of the latter had twelve disciples.
Druze believe in the transmigration of the soul. That is, at death, one's soul is instantaneously reincarnated (in time and space), and it is reborn into another life. Their concept of heaven and hell is spiritual in nature. It is believed that heaven is the ultimate happiness that the soul encounters when it unites and meets its creator. Hell is the bitter feeling of being deprived endlessly of the glorious presence of the Almighty.

What Are Their Needs?

Spiritually the Druze need to meet their Maker in a personal way, opposed to an esoteric mental exercise offered in their religion.

Prayer Points

Pray for an abundant blessing of Druze families and communities as they embrace Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords.
Pray for a movement to Christ that will enrich the Druze community.
Pray for spiritual openness to Jesus Christ that will not be hindered by the false belief in religious institutions rather than the person, Jesus Christ.

Scripture Prayers for the Druze in Israel.


Middle East Resources

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Druze
People Name in Country Druze
Pronunciation drooz
Alternate Names
Population this Country 80,000
Population all Countries 1,118,000
Total Countries 6
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 2
People ID 11620
ROP3 Code 102733
ROP25 Code 302196
ROP25 Name Druze
Country Israel
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Israel
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Primary Religion: Other / Small (Druze)
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
100.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Arabic, Levantine
Language Code apc   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Arabic, Levantine
Language Code apc   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Arabic, Levantine
Photo Source CharlesFred - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Map Source Institute of Druze Studies  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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