Profile Source: Hope for Europe
Introduction / History
The Ossetians call themselves "Irons" or "Digorons," and are one of the oldest Caucasian peoples. When the Iranian speaking tribes (Alans, Scythes and Sarmats) settled there, the local population took their language and many cultural features. The Alans and the Ossetians started the formation of the Ossetians. This alliance was destroyed by the Mongol-Tatars, and the Alans were driven from the plains to the mountain ravines, part of them moving to the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus where they still live. Like other Caucasian peoples, they preserve and develop their traditions, customs and holidays. These are remembered in tales, proverbs and songs that depict the centuries-long history of the Ossetian people.
Most Ossetians live in North Ossetia (capitol is Vladikavkaz) and a large number also live in the Republic of Georgia. A smaller number are in South Ossetia (surrounded on three sides by Georgia). The Ossetians and Georgians have a long relationship and share some of their customs. There are also numbers of this group in Kabardin-Balkaria and the Stavropol Region of Russia. North Ossetia and South Ossetia straddle the northern border of Georgia. Most of the Ossetians professed Christianity that came from the Byzantine Empire and Georgia during the sixth and seventh centuries. Islam spread into Ossetia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
What are Their Beliefs?
Most of the Ossetians are Orthodox. A large number profess Islam (Sunni).
* Proclaim Scripture verses that these people are known and loved by God and that He wants none of them to perish.
* Pray the Scriptures that whole families will turn to Christ.
* Pray that Christianity will be remembered in their traditions and the people will be attracted to the Gospel.
* Pray that the Spirit will multiply the believers.
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