Introduction / History The Khvarshin (Khwarshi) live in Dagestan. After 1926 they were considered a separate ethnic group. They have their own language with a small dialect. They also speak Avar and Tindi.
In 1944 the Khwarshi were moved by force to Chechnya. In 1957 part of them returned to their half destroyed villages, and part of them moved to the valleys of Dagestan. Their government is set up with the elders of the village and the spiritual Muslim leader ruling along with a town crier. Their court is set up based on the rules in the shariat.
They are farmers and raise cattle and sheep. They make various products from wool. They also make shoes and wooden furniture. They are very industrious people, and the work is separated by gender.
Some of the Khwarshi families are very large, and are close even to the fourth generation. The family members support each other morally and financially. The head of the family is the eldest. At an early age the men shave their heads, and then later when they are married grow a beard. Also, the older women shave their heads and leave only hair in the front. This is their tradition.
Their villages are located in the mountains and are geographically difficult to get to. They celebrate religious holidays like Mohammed's birthday, and the end of their month long fast. Almost every village has educated people who fluently speak Arabic languages, and can translate the local language.
What are their beliefs? They are Muslim/Sunnite, but also practice shamanism and animism.
Prayer Points * Pray for ministry strategies that will help churches to be a unified stronghold in the midst of this Muslim region, and that God would give openness and hunger to the Khwarshi for the Gospel.
* Pray that God would draw these Muslim Khwarshi peoples to His Son, Jesus, whom the Koran recognizes as a Prophet of God.
* Pray God would remove the deception of Animism and Shamanism. * Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language. * Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people. * Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.