Introduction / History Looking for a classy furry hat in a bazaar in Russian cities such as Moscow or Krasnodar or Makhachkala? Ask around for the Tsudakar Dargin men and before long you’ll have the hat you’re looking for. Throughout Russia many Tsudakar men are known as hat sellers.
The Tsudakar hail from central Dagestan at the western edge of the Dargin family of languages. Many Tsudakar speak Dargin and Russian, but their heart identity is as Tsudakar People; and it’s the Tsudakar oral language which they speak in their home villages in the Tsudakar region, and when they’re working together selling hats.
What are their beliefs? The Tsudakar people—at least 20,000 total, living in eight major towns and many smaller villages—have been staunch Muslims for more than 600 years. Islam in central Dagestan is not only a religion, it also is interwoven with the structure of society. The male council of elders in each village oversees religious behavior and communal decisions. There is great pride in Islamic identity, but when conflicts emerge there is little tradition of grace and reconciliation. And, as we approach death, how can we know if we will receive uncertain grace from a stern and distant God?
Among the Tsudakar, one person—Sef-utdin*--has found the grace of Jesus for life now and for all eternity. A Russian friend got delivered from drunkenness through Jesus, and through this friend Sef-utdin found the joy of salvation himself. Now he wears not only a beautiful Tsudakar Dargin hat, but also "the helmet of salvation."
Prayer Points * Pray that the helmet of salvation which adorns Sef-utdin’s life will spread to many more Tsudakar hat sellers.
* Pray that the Fruit of the Spirit, by the grace of Jesus, will spread through many Tsudakar lives and families and clans and villages. * Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language. * Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.