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Turkey is a "link" between Asian and European cultures. Turkish law is not based on Islamic law but is rather a republic modelled after the Swiss and French legal systems. The Turks represent a great opportunity to create a "fulcrum" church movement that could reach many other Muslim people groups.
Most Turks live in their home country, but significant numbers live elsewhere. Several million Turks live in Germany alone as either guest workers or German citizens. Many more live throughout North America and European countries like Austria.
Though traditional ways continue to exist in some areas, the typical Turks lives a secularized, modern urban life, with all the materialistic advantages and temptations that go with it. This is especially true in European cities.
The diet of the Turks consists of a heavy bread, olives, cheese from sheep or cow’s milk, onions, molasses from grapes, fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Meats such as fish, wild game, or poultry are only eaten once a week. Wealthier peasants may also eat lamb and beef, but Islam prohibits them from eating pork.
Relaxation is of the utmost importance to the Turk. Coffee houses are places where men meet to visit and talk politics or business. In general, the Turks are courteous, gentle people who readily show hospitality to strangers. They are also very patriotic and have a deep sense of nationalistic pride and love for their country.
The Turks of Austria are predominantly nominally Sunni Muslim, believing in one God (Allah), and an eternal heaven and hell. However, they also have many ethnic beliefs as well. For example, they believe that men have the power to curse others by giving them the "evil eye." They believe that one is protected against such a curse by wearing blue beads, which the evil eye cannot face. Another way to avoid this cursing glare is to spit in a fire and pray to Allah. They also believe that if a woman puts fish oil around a door and a man walks through it, he will love her for the rest of his life.
Although the Turks have Christian resources (both the Bible and the JESUS Film have been translated into Turkish) available to them in their language and mission agencies have worked among them, 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 drunkenness, 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.
Ask God to give the Turkish believers boldness to share the gospel with their own people in Austria.
Ask the Lord to save key leaders among the Turks who will boldly declare the gospel.
Pray that many Turks living in Austria will be reached with the gospel and will take it back to Turkey.