Shorian Tatar in Russia

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Shorian Tatars are an indigenous Turkic people who live in southwestern Siberia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The Mongols conquered the region in the 13th century and the Tatar people adopted many aspects of the Mongol culture. A century later Islam came to the Tartars and most of them converted. The Russian Empire took over southwestern Siberia in the late 16th century. The Shors were forced to pay a tax in animal furs. Until that time the Shors’ ability to smelt iron and make iron tools made them valuable to the Mongols. The European Russians came into the area with their better techniques of producing iron. The Shorians went back to fishing, hunting and trapping as their chief means of making a living. The 1917 Russian Revolution brought major changes to the Shorians. The Shorians were taken off their traditional lands and forced to become coal miners. Many died and others abused alcohol. Tribal chiefs and shamans were executed or worked to death. The Shors were made to speak Russian and hindered from practicing their religion of Islam and shamanism.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Since the 1990s the Shorian Tatars have seen a revival of their culture. They were free again to speak their language, consult their shamans, elect their tribal chiefs and engage in Muslim practices. The land of the Shorian Tatars is rich with iron ore, coal and gold. Unfortunately, the mining has brought industrial scale pollution to the land, rivers and air. The Shorians have not reaped the benefits of their land’s resources. Some still work as in miners but the mines are owned by others. Many Shorians have become "Russified." Many speak Russian, live in Russian cities and are no longer know or speak the Shorian language. Outside of the urban areas many Shorians retain their language and many parts of their traditional culture. On feast days they recite epic Tatar poems, dance and sing songs about their gods and heroes. Villages elect their chief and make judicial decisions. Throat singing is an ancient musical practice.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most of the Shorians claim to be Sunni Muslims. Their Islam is heavily influenced by folk religion and shamanism. The Shorians have their own creation myths that they believed before becoming Muslims. The mixture of beliefs continues today. During the time of the Russian Empire some Shorians were forced to convert to Russian Orthodox Christianity. This action has left a bad feeling towards Christianity as a religion only for European Russians, not themselves.

What Are Their Needs?

The Shorians need to hear a clear presentation of the good news about Jesus Christ. Isa or Jesus is more than a human prophet. The Shorians would benefit by learning new job skills so they can improve their place in society. The Shorians would appreciate anyone who comes to them and values their language and culture.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Tatar, Shorian in Russia.

Pray the New Testament would be translated into the Shorian Tartar language. Pray for a hunger for spiritual truth to come to the Shorian leaders and heads of households. Pray the Lord sends workers to the Shorian Tartars to tell them about the Lord and His grace. Ask the Lord to raise up a Disciple Making Movement among the Shorian Tartars of Russia in this decade.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-02-04
People Name General Tatar, Shorian
People Name in Country Tatar, Shorian
Natural Name Shorian Tatar
Pronunciation SHOR-ee-un TAH-tar
Population this Country 13,000
Population all Countries 14,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 2
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed
Alternate Names Kuznets Tatar; Shoretses
People ID 14918
ROP3 Code 108961
Country Russia
Region Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Mountain Shoria in the south of Kemerovo Region, in Tom, Mrassu, and Kondoma river basins.   Source:  Red Book Russian People Profiles
Country Russia
Region Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Mountain Shoria in the south of Kemerovo Region, in Tom, Mrassu, and Kondoma river basins..   Source:  Red Book Russian People Profiles
Primary Language Shor (13,000 speakers)
Language Code cjs   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Shor (13,000 speakers)
Language Code cjs   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Shor

Primary Language:  Shor

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2004-2011)
Bible-New Testament No
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
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
General Gospel resources links
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.50 %)
30.00 %
Ethnic Religions
70.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
100.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source Norwegian Polar Institute  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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