Kazakh, Qazaq in Mongolia





Largest Religion

Main Language


The Kazakhs of Central Asia

Source:  Asia Harvest      Download
Introduction / History

The Kazak of Mongolia belong to a larger group of people who live primarily in Kazakstan. Ethnically, they are of Turkic descent, and are the second largest Muslim group of Central Asia. In the past, they were perhaps the most influential of the various Central Asian ethnic groups.

The Kazak developed a distinct ethnic identity in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. In the nineteenth century, the Russians acquired Central Asia through a steady process of annexation. They eventually claimed the entire territory of Kazakstan. About half of the Kazak population was killed during the Russian Civil War of the 1920's and 1930's. During this time, many fled to China and Mongolia.

The Kazak who now live in Mongolia make up the largest non-Mongolian ethnic group in the country. However, at the present time, their number is decreasing since many are emigrating back to their homeland, Kazakstan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

While many of the Kazak work as highly paid coal miners, some are nomads who migrate seasonally in search of pasture. During the summer months, they live in round tents called yurts. Yurts are made by stretching pieces of felt over wooden frames. These tents are very portable, making them suitable to a nomadic lifestyle. In the winter months, they live in adobe (concrete block) houses.

Like the Mongols, the Kazak are stockbreeders. Their livestock includes sheep, goats, and some cattle. Many also have horses, but only for prestige. To the Kazak, horses represent the key to freedom. Even their economy and wealth are based on the number of horses they own. When a young couple marries, the "bride price" is often paid in horses. This custom is reflected in the words of a favorite quotation which says, "A beautiful maiden is worth 80 fine horses."

The Kazak usually live as "extended families." These include the parents, the married sons and their families, and the remaining unmarried children. In previous times, polygyny (having more than one wife) was practiced, but only by men who could afford it or by men whose first wife was childless. Today, marriages are generally monogamous.

The Kazak have Mongolian features, black hair, rough complexions, and medium frames. They are generally short-tempered and find it easy to move on in difficult times. Their clothing is made from felt and sheepskins.

Because of the harshness of the climate, the diet of the Kazak changes considerably throughout the year. In the winter they consume fat and meat, and during the summer months, dairy products are eaten. A favorite drink, called kumiss, is a wine made from fermented mare's milk.

In the Kazak province of Bayan-Ölgiy, Kazaki is the primary language spoken. It is used both in grammar schools and in local administrative offices. Halh Mongolian and Russian are also taught as second and third languages in Kazak schools.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Kazak embraced Islam during the sixteenth century and still consider themselves Muslim today. In reality, however, they are the least Islamic of the Central Asia Turks. Their Islamic practices have been combined with traditional folk rituals.

Essentially, the Kazak are Islamic animists and are still engaging in ancestor worship and other such practices. ("Animism" is the belief that non-human objects have spirits. "Ancestor worship" involves praying and offering sacrifices to deceased ancestors.) They also consult shamans (priests who cure the sick by magic, communicate with the spirits, and control events) for both religious and political reasons.

What Are Their Needs?

Although one missions agency has focused on the Kazak of Mongolia, they have had very little success because the people are extremely loyal to their traditions. Consequently, there are only a few known believers. Much intercession is needed to see the Kazak reached with the Gospel.

Prayer Points

* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into Mongolia.
* Pray that God will raise up prayer teams to go and break up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Ask God to grant favor and wisdom to the missions agencies that may be focusing on the Kazak.
* Pray that Christian businessmen will have open doors to share the Gospel with the Kazak.
* Ask God to encourage and protect the small number of Kazak Christians.
* Pray that these new converts will have the boldness to share the Gospel with their people.
* Ask the Lord to raise up a strong local church among the Kazak.

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-08-30
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-07-17
People Name General Kazakh (Kar-zark)
People Name in Country Kazakh, Qazaq
Population in Mongolia 104,000
World Population 14,062,000
Countries 24
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Gazaqi, Hazake, Kazax, Qazaq, Qazaqi
Affinity Bloc Turkic Peoples
People Cluster Kazakh
People Name General Kazakh (Kar-zark)
Ethnic Code MSY41e
People ID 12599
Country Mongolia
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Northwest Mongolia, Bayan-Olgiy Aimag, mining communities east of the capital; far east Choibalsan area.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
For Primary Language: Kazakh

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1818-1989)
New Testament Yes   (1820-2011)
Complete Bible Yes   (1820-2010)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Four Spiritual Laws General
God's Story Video Film / Video
Got Questions Ministry General
Jesus Film: view in Kazakh Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project) Film / Video
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.05 %)
0.20 %
Ethnic Religions
2.00 %
0.00 %
57.80 %
40.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
61.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
5.0 %
27.0 %
Roman Catholic
7.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Mongolian Traditional Costumes  
Video Source: Asia Harvest
Profile Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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