Zaza-Dimli in Türkiye (Turkey)

Map Source:  People Group location: Field worker. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Zaza-Dimli
Country: Türkiye (Turkey)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 1,323,000
World Population: 1,323,000
Primary Language: Zazaki, Southern
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Kurd
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Most Zaza people consider themselves Kurdish; they have much in common with the Zaza Kurds. However, the difference is that the Zaza language is like the north-Caspian (Armenian) spoken language and belongs to the Indo-European language family.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Zaza society is traditionally patriarchal, and their traditions and history are passed on orally. The Zaza people remain largely illiterate. They live in valleys and mountains as nomadic people, shepherding their livestock and relying on agricultural products.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The primary religion of the Zazas is Sunni Islam, but the Zaza people consider themselves to be Alevi Muslims (a Shia sect of Islam), a mystical faith with strong shamanistic and Zoroastrian roots. There is a very complicated, even sacred, relationship between Islam and the natural world.

What Are Their Needs?

Secularism makes Zaza people change their religious structure nowadays. Their spiritual leaders no longer have power in Zaza society and the community cannot provide the individual needs. Zaza have a lot of hidden marriage problems and dysfunctional family relations. This often causes the Zaza people to cry out to God for help. God does not want this small ethnic group to miss his mission. They need to hear the message of the only redeemer even though they cannot read the Bible and depend on learning the stories.

Prayer Points

Pray for gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Zaza people for Jesus and that in God’s sovereign timing their hearts would be open and ready to follow Him.
Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended families so the gospel will spread rapidly among this people group.
Pray for the spiritual lives of the Zaza people to become fruitful as they follow Christ.
Pray for the lives and culture of the Zaza people to evidence the rule and reign of the Kingdom of God as they open to the gospel, and for the beauty of Jesus to be seen in them.

Text Source:   Joshua Project