Orthodox Kurds? An interview with Seraphim Maamdi

I have recently become aware of the topic of Christian Kurds. Historically Kurds are Muslim or Yazidi, but very few are Christians. Of those who exist, most are evangelical (as with most all converts from Islam), but there are some Catholics, and some Orthodox.

Here is an interview with an Orthodox Kurd from a Yazidi background living in Russia. Wrap your brain around that!

—Are there many Christians in general amongst the Kurds? How far back does the history of Kurdish Christianity go? 
—We know that the ancestors of modern Kurds, the Medes and the Parthians, received Christianity during its first centuries. There were even separate Kurdish principalities that confessed Christianity. There were many Orthodox Kurds in eastern Anatolia, and some of them are parishioners of the Constantinople Church to this day. With the rise of Islam, everything changed. Kurds found themselves surrounded by Moslems, and Christianity was gradually uprooted from the Kurds. Now, in Georgia, Kurds are becoming Orthodox en masse. It is notable that this movement is coming from the people themselves—no one is missionizing; they are going to church on their own initiative. Of course, if there were an dedicated mission to them, there would be more fruit. The success of various Protestant missionary groups among the Kurds is an indication of this. The exact number of Christian Kurds is unknown, and there has been no research into this, but it is estimated that there are tens of thousands, and the number is growing. In Russia, there are many Orthodox Kurds. If the Lord blesses, and I hope, there will be a Kurdish Orthodox community in Moscow.

Read the whole interview at Pravoslavie. Note how when he sought baptism at the Orthodox church he was not turned away. Good for that priest! Most Muslims who seek conversion at Orthodox (or Catholic) churches are indeed turned away and end up staying Muslim or becoming evangelical Christians. 

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