Mari, Low in Russia


Population
400,000
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Lowland-Eastern Mari people group speak a common Meadow-Eastern Mari language with its regional features, which differs from the Mountain Mari who speak the Mountain-Mari language. During the Soviet Era, large numbers of ethnically Russian people were moved into traditionally Mari lands, significantly changing the demographics of the region, and making the Mari a minority in many parts of their homeland. Mari people were generally dis-empowered by these changes. What's more, Communist policies – officially aimed at combating undue influence of nationalism in a multi-nation union. Among the Eastern Mari is a subgroup known as the Ural Mari – a group of about 24,000 Mari – who live in the southern part of Sverdlovsk Oblast. Their forefathers migrated to the Urals back in the 16th century, fleeing enforced Christianization.


Where Are they Located?

The Meadow Mari live along the left bank of the Volga in Mari-El Republic. The Eastern Mari live in Bashkortostan, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Kirovsk Oblast, and Perm Kray.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Orthodox Christianity was adopted by the Mari in the 16th century after their territory was incorporated into the Russian Empire during the reign of Ivan IV "the Terrible". Adoption of Christianity was not universal, however, and many Mari today still practice Paganism in syncretic forms, or purer forms adhering to organized Neo-pagan Mari Traditional Religion organizations. Pagans constitute a significant minority of 25 to 40% of the Mari. Most Mari are members of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Meadow-Mari have also experienced Islamic influences.

Certainly, religion has lost most of its previous strength over the course of the twentieth century. Compared with the local Russians, however, the Maris have, to a somewhat greater degree, kept their traditional religious habits. The traditional shamanist-animist religion of the Maris included a host of divinities, ancestor spirits, and supernatural beings personified in celestial bodies, clouds, rivers, earth, trees, and forests. The supreme god, Jumo, represented all heavens and weather together. The core of the site of sacrificial ceremonies and prayer meetings was a fenced section of untouched forest grove; there were separate sacred groves depending on whether they were for the prayer of the whole community, the clan, or the kin group. All domestic animals except pigs and hens were suitable for sacrifice. The participants in the ceremony—sometimes thousands of people—were dressed in white.


Prayer Points

* Pray that missionaries would feel called to move to Mari-El as a church planting team.
* Pray that a church planting strategy for both the Low Mari and Eastern Mari would be developed.


Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Mari, Low
People Name in Country Mari, Low
Population in Russia 400,000
World Population 409,900
Total Countries 5
Indigenous Yes
Unreached No
Progress Scale 3
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Alternate Names Cheremis, Eastern Mari, Low Mari, Mari
People ID 13118
ROP3 Code 105877
Country Russia
Region Eastern Europe and Eurasia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Mariy-El Republic: Bashkortostan, Sverdlovskaya Oblast’, Kirovskaya Oblast’, and Permskiy Kray; east of the Volga.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Russia
Region Eastern Europe and Eurasia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Mariy-El Republic: Bashkortostan, Sverdlovskaya Oblast’, Kirovskaya Oblast’, and Permskiy Kray; east of the Volga..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Ethnologue Language Map
Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Mari, Meadow (400,000 speakers)
Language Code mhr   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Mari, Low
Dialect Code 13728   Global Recordings Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Mari, Meadow
Primary Language Mari, Meadow (400,000 speakers)
Language Code mhr   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Mari, Low
Dialect Code 13728   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Mari, Meadow

Primary Language:  Mari, Meadow

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes   (1870-1999)
Bible-New Testament Yes   (1986-2007)
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon National Bible Societies
Forum of Bible Agencies World Bible Finder
Gospel Go World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Mari, Meadow
General Four Spiritual Laws
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Orthodox
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.10 %)
60.00 %
Ethnic Religions
30.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
5.00 %
Non-Religious
5.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
0.0 %
Orthodox
90.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
10.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2017  Artem Zhushman  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Anonymous  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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