Eyub: A Kurdish Christian
(The story and information below come from Stef, the children’s publication of SDOK, a ministry that is part of The Voice of the Martyrs’ family of missions. SDOK is in the Netherlands.)
Hi! My name is Eyub and I am 10 years old. I was born in Turkey. I am also a Kurd and I live in the Netherlands. You understand that I have a lot to tell you!
Together with my parents and brother I lived in Istanbul. That is the largest city in Turkey. Many Kurds also live in Turkey. If you put five Turkish people in a row, then one of them is Kurd. Turks hate Kurds. You understand that I never told other children in Turkey that I am Kurdish. If you are also a Christian, well then it is really not going well. Far too dangerous!
A few years ago my parents couldn’t take it anymore. They fled to the Netherlands. Fleeing is not nice. But it is exciting and you do not know where you will end up. Now I live in an Asylum Seekers Center; you just call it AZC. All the people who live here have fled their own country.
Sometimes people come to visit the AZC. Soon my mother had a friend. Her friend said: “I am a Christian and go to church on Sunday. Are you coming?” My mother thought that was fun. I thought it was fun, too! I got to know many children there. In the church we learned a lot about the Lord Jesus. My parents were baptized. I’d really like that, too, because I really love the Lord Jesus. But it is also good if I learn more about Him first.
If you live in the AZC, you must of course go to school. Muslim children from my class started participating in Ramadan and they were really angry when I brought food to school. “You are Muslim, why do you eat?” they said. I did not dare to say that we have become Christians. So I didn’t eat anything at school. Fortunately I am now in a Christian school. And I think that’s great! The teacher reads from the Bible and we pray together. Do you know my name is in the Bible? My name is Eyub and that is the Arabic name for Job. Now that I love the Lord Jesus, I really don’t want to do wrong things anymore and always listen carefully to my parents. Do you feel that way, too?
The Kurds have their own language, culture, and even their own flag, but no place of their own. Forty million people without their own country. Many Kurds have fled due to wars and violence. They live throughout many countries.
Most Kurds are Muslims. Of the 40 million Kurds, only 5,000 are Christians. Many of them have fled because of ISIS attacks. Christians come together in secret. If they are unable to go to a secret church service, they listen to a service in their own language on the internet. Many Kurds have never heard the gospel in their own language.