Turk in Belgium

Turk
Photo Source:  Garry Knight  Creative Commons  Used with permission
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People Name: Turk
Country: Belgium
10/40 Window: No
Population: 162,000
World Population: 63,832,600
Primary Language: Turkish
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.10 %
Evangelicals: 0.07 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Turkish
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The ancestors of the Turks founded the powerful Ottoman Empire which lasted from the 14th through the early 20th century. This 600-year empire began with raids by Turkish warriors and ended with the defeat of the Axis powers at the end of WWI. It was the last Muslim empire. Turks are proud of their history.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Turkish community is one of the largest non-EU migrant group in Belgium. Turks in Belgium commonly live in poverty. The average unemployment rate of Belgian Turks is extremely high compared with the overall unemployment rate. This results from their low level of education. Employment difficulties have led many Turks to create their own businesses such as grocery stores, fruit and vegetable stores, bakeries, restaurants, and cafes.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Turks are nominally Sunni Muslim, believing in one god (Allah), and an eternal heaven and hell. "Sunni," is derived from the Islamic term, sunnah, which means "well-trodden path." Sunnis believe that the correct path is that of the majority. Therefore, the tradition of the Sunni is political conformism, though the Turks have been more flexible than many of their Muslim neighbors. Other Turks are more secular in their beliefs, though they visit the mosque for special events. Some also hold to pre-Islamic beliefs as well. For example, some believe that men have the power to curse others by giving them the "evil eye."

What Are Their Needs?

Although Christian resources (both the Bible and the JESUS Film have been translated into Turkish) available to them in their language, they remain strongly Muslim. Prayer alone has the power to break through the strongholds of Islam. Intercessors are needed to daily stand in the gap and pray for the salvation of these precious people. Negative attributes of modern urban life such as alcohol, drug use, and prostitution exist. Such an atmosphere can lead to identity crises that could lead individuals to Christ, or to fundamentalist Islam, or to destruction. Christian pastors who are from Muslim backgrounds point out that part of their challenge in Brussels is "to help immigrants integrate and assimilate, to help them feel at homeā€¦ Islam is a no-return street; once you go out, you can't go back in." The immigrants are struggling with an identity crisis, but they need a spiritual identity as well as a national one. One Arabic speaking pastor tells of a diverse group of Christians; Turks, Kurds, Armenians, and others sharing a meal together while baffled Turkish Muslims watched. He adds, "Only Christ can bring together enemies like this."

Prayer Points

Pray for the fervent believers to reach out in faith and love to the Muslim Turks among them. Pray for a spiritual hunger among Turks that will be satisfied by none other than the only Savior, Jesus Christ. Pray for a Disciple Making Movement among Turks to spread far and wide throughout Europe.

Text Source:   Joshua Project