Syrian Aramaic, Turoyo in Belgium

Map Source:  Anonymous
People Name: Syrian Aramaic, Turoyo
Country: Belgium
10/40 Window: No
Population: 2,000
World Population: 179,800
Primary Language: Turoyo
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 90.00 %
Evangelicals: 2.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Assyrian / Aramaic
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Turoyo Syrian Aramaic people take pride in their long Christian history. Their Bible, the Peshitta, dates back thousands of years. Those who speak Turoyo Syrian Aramaic live in many countries, though their language began in Tur 'Abdin, which is now in southeastern Turkey.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Those who speak Turoyo Syrian Aramaic usually speak the local trade language as well. They sometimes blend their language with the local language. Only about one in 20 of them can read the Bible in their Turoyo Syrian Aramaic language since that language has changed drastically since its origin over 1,000 years ago.

In secularized countries in Europe and North America, the Turoyo people blend in with the general population. In the Muslim countries, namely Turkey and Syria, they are sometimes persecuted for not being Muslims.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Turoyo Syrian Aramaic people are Christian, but they struggle to understand their doctrine, given the linguistic complications they face. Fortunately, these are being addressed.

What Are Their Needs?

Although they revere God's word, they don’t understand the Peshitta (their Bible) because the language has changed greatly. The Old Testament was translated from Hebrew in the second century and the New Testament from the Greek in the fifth. Christians appreciate what Scripture is, but they have minimal knowledge of what it says for their daily lives. There are audio gospel materials available for them. Many have seen the JESUS Film, also produced in their language. Clergy members are eager for their mother-tongue Old Testament. They already welcomed and began to implement the recently completed New Testament into their religious life. Christians now want their culture reclaimed for Christ.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Turoyo Syrian Aramaic to soon have all they need to understand God’s word.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to continually give them spiritual hunger for truth and righteousness.

Pray for Turoyo Syrian Aramaic disciples to make more disciples.

Text Source:   Joshua Project