Pontic Greek in Greece

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People Name: Pontic Greek
Country: Greece
10/40 Window: No
Population: 369,000
World Population: 386,100
Primary Language: Pontic
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 90.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.50 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Greek
Affinity Bloc: Eurasian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Pontic Greeks are ethnically Greek. They traditionally lived in the region of Pontus, on the southern shores of the Black Sea. They traditionally speak Pontic, which is a distinct dialect from the modern Greek language. The language is used for folklore. Pontic songs are particularly popular in Greece. The Pontic Greeks suffered widespread massacres and what is now usually termed "ethnic cleansing" at the beginning of the 20th century. Many found refuge by hiding in the mountains, and others migrated to other countries. The surviving Pontic Greeks converted to Islam which allowed some of them to escape Muslim Turk persecution. There are currently no Christian resources in the Pontic Greek language.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Pontic Greeks make their living by agriculture. They cultivate grapes, olives, wheat and different varieties of fruit. Pontic Greeks also raise goats and sheep. Some fish on the Black Sea or are involved in transporting goods on the sea. The Pontic Greeks try to maintain their Greek culture surrounded by other ethnic groups. The Greeks have a strong tradition of songs, poetry, dancing and festive clothing. The Pontic Greeks want to marry within their group so as to preserve their culture and distinct language.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Outside of Turkey, the vast majority of the Pontic Greeks claim to be Christian. They adhere to the doctrines of the Greek Orthodox Church. However, most put their identity in their ethnicity and their Greek heritage ahead of a relationship with Jesus Christ.

What Are Their Needs?

There is a need for Christ-centered discipleship. The Pontic Greeks need to put Christ ahead of all else no matter where they live.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to send workers to the Pontic Greeks of Greece.

Pray for many Pontic Greeks to be led to investigate the scriptures and find their way to the cross.

Pray this small ethnic minority will thrive in Greece and give God the glory.

Text Source:   Joshua Project