Kabardian in Russia

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

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Introduction / History

The Kabardians exist as the largest surviving 'tribe' of the northwestern Caucasus' Circassian language family. (The Adyghe are the other surviving Circassian major people group in the Caucasus.) In an earlier era, the Kabardians practiced an eclectic blend of pagan/Christian/Islamic religious practices, venerating sacred trees, mountains, horses, fire, and a pantheon of gods. They venerate a "Tree of Life," its seven sets of branches woven to form a skyward arrow, as a monument to the victims of the century-long Russo-Circassian wars that ended in 1864. The Kabardian's ability to survive is unbelievable, considering the Circassians' epic devastation and the tragic expulsion/emigration/destruction of ninety percent of their population from their homelands in Russia. So now, every Kabardian wedding, where a "Tree of Life" is venerated by the groom and bride, represents future hope for a people who came so dangerously close to ethnic extermination.

What Are Their Lives Like?

For all their past plights, Kabardians embody remarkable aspects of human beauty and strength. If a people's proverbs reveal their cultural values, attentive hospitality certainly ranks high. One can find a hundred folk sayings on the sacred duties of host-guest relationships in Kabardian "khabze," that is, their traditional norms of behavior or customary protocol. For example, "A guest is a messenger from God." Or "The guest of a Kabardian is as safe as if protected by a fortress."
The Kabardians honor their elders and those with recognized status. They train their youth to serve and defer to elders.
Yet this precious people possess darkened hearts like all human beings. They practice a culture of blood revenge that is equal to hospitality as a cultural value. Once characterized by folk Islam, their youth's growing attraction to radical Islam plagues the Kabardians.

Equal to hospitality as a cultural value is the code of blood revenge.
What Are Their Beliefs?

Kabardians practice folk Islam which includes traditional beliefs and values.

What Are Their Needs?

The Kabardian need workers to share the gospel in the Kabardian language and culture.

Prayer Points

Pray that against this backdrop, the 75-100 scattered Kabardian believers can shine as lights. Pray for love, boldness, unity and vision.
Pray for the circulation of translated Scriptures, Audio Bibles, audio recordings and the JESUS Film into Kabardian cultural circles.
Pray that spiritual barriers that have kept the gospel from advancing would be broken down.
Pray for a reproducing, culturally relevant Kabardian church – that Jesus can be seen as 'fully dressed in Kabardian clothes.'

Scripture Prayers for the Kabardian, East Circassian in Russia.



Profile Source:   Joshua Project  
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Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-03-26
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-03-20
People Name General Kabardian
People Name in Country Kabardian, East Circassian
Natural Name Kabardian
Pronunciation kuh-BAR-dee-un
Alternate Names East Circassian; Kabado-Cherkes; Upper Circassian
Population this Country 581,000
Population all Countries 2,042,000
Total Countries 8
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 12
People ID 11675
ROP3 Code 102815
Country Russia
Region Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Kabardino-Balkariya Republic, Severnaya Osetiya-Alaniya, and Stavropol’skiy Kray.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Russia
Region Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Kabardino-Balkariya Republic, Severnaya Osetiya-Alaniya, and Stavropol’skiy Kray..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Map of Kabardian, East Circassian in Russia Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.02 %)
0.02 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
99.98 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Kabardian (581,000 speakers)
Language Code kbd   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Kabardian (581,000 speakers)
Language Code kbd   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Kabardian

Primary Language:  Kabardian

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1991)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1993-2007)
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Kabardian Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Kabardian YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter IBT, Russia - resources Institute for Bible Translation - Russia
Photo Source Dan Zelazo - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.