Kurds

Immigrants from:  Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria.   Population in Australia:  8,800   Where in VIC:  Whittlesea, Hume City, Moreland City   Languages:  Kurdish   Religion:  Islam   Christian witness:  1.37% evangelical

Immigrants from: Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria.

Population in Australia: 8,800

Where in VIC: Whittlesea, Hume City, Moreland City

Languages: Kurdish

Religion: Islam

Christian witness: 1.37% evangelical

The modern Kurdish people are united by their common language and by their common nomadic history. As is common for nomadic people groups they do not have a recognised country. Their homeland exists within the borders of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and a small enclave in Armenia. Their multi-country reality coupled with their low status in all of these countries makes the population numbers of the Kurds hard to ascertain. Estimates are as high as 45 million, much bigger than many national populations.  There are also a further 2 million Kurdish diaspora, in Europe and the new world. 

The first Kurds began arriving in Australia from Turkey in the 60s and 70s. Many more came from Iran and Iraq during the Gulf War, and more recently from Iran and Syria. 

The Kurdish language is from the Indo-Iranian family, meaning it is not similar to the Arabic or Turkish that is spoken in national contexts. There are also 3 major dialects of the Kurdish language that are different enough that not all Kurdish people can understand one another in their native language. 

The Kurds are a nomadic people group from ancient times. They are descendant from many nomadic people groups including the Medes mentioned in Acts 2. 

Today the majority of the Kurds are Muslim, though not nearly as thoroughly as many of their neighbours. Christianity has been embraced by different Kurdish tribes throughout the centuries. Many others have maintained their pagan beliefs. Some Kurdish tribes are Jewish, descending from the ancient Bejaminites. There is a modern Kurdish Evangelical movement of several hundred Kurdish Christians in Iraqi Kurdistan where the Kurds have some autonomy. No news from other sectors.