Shorian Tatar in Uzbekistan

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 and north central Asia in the 16th century. The Shors were forced to pay a tax in animal furs to the Russian government. The Shors' ability to smelt iron and make iron tools made them valuable to the Mongols. The European Russians came into the Central Asia with their superior techniques of producing iron. The Shorians went back to fishing, hunting, logging and trapping as their chief means of making a living. During the 19th century some Shorians were forcibly converted to Russian Orthodox Christianity. Some left Russian and moved to the more Muslim friendly area of what is now Uzbekistan. A small group of Shorian Tatars lives in Uzbekistan today.

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 homeland 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 speaking cities and no longer know or speak the Shorian language. Outside of the urban areas many Shorians retain their language and many parts of their traditional ways. 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 Tatars claim to be Sunni Muslims. However, their brand of Islam is heavily influenced by folk religion and ancestor worship. A devout Saudi or Egyptian Muslim would see the Shorian Tatars as more pagan than Muslim. The Shorians have their own creation myths and epic poems. The mixture of Muslim and folk beliefs continues today. The Shorians believe that spirits inhabit the objects of nature including rivers, mountains, trees, rocks, animals and sky. These spirits must be appeased or they can bring harm on the Shorian people.

What Are Their Needs?

The Shorians need to be delivered from their fear of evil spirits. They must come to understand that Isa or Jesus is more than a human prophet. He is the Lord and Savior of the world who alone can forgive their sins. The rural Shorians would benefit by modern medical care and scientific help with their animals and crops.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to send workers to the Shorians in Uzbekistan who can tell than the good news about Christ. Pray the Lord produces a spiritual hunger in the lives of Shorian leaders and heads of clans. Pray that God raises up a Disciple Making Movement among the Shorians of Uzbekistan in this decade. Pray that more Christian resources become available in the Shorian language.

Scripture Prayers for the Tatar, Shorian in Uzbekistan.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Tatar, Shorian
People Name in Country Tatar, Shorian
Natural Name Shorian Tatar
Pronunciation SHOR-ee-un tah-TAR
Population this Country 500
Population all Countries 14,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 2
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed
Alternate Names Kuznets Tatar; Shoretses
People ID 14918
ROP3 Code 108961
Country Uzbekistan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Uzbekistan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 2.00 %)
28.00 %
Ethnic Religions
72.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Shor (500 speakers)
Language Code cjs   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Shor (500 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 Source
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Text / Printed Matter IBT, Russia - resources Institute for Bible Translation - Russia
Photo Source Anonymous 
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more