Tatar, Crimean in Bulgaria

Tatar, Crimean
Photo Source:  Adam Jones - Flickr  Creative Commons  Used with permission
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People Name: Tatar, Crimean
Country: Bulgaria
10/40 Window: No
Population: 1,200
World Population: 609,600
Primary Language: Crimean Tatar
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.50 %
Evangelicals: 0.10 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Ural-Siberian
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Crimean Tatars are descendants of the Mongols who swept through eastern Europe in the thirteenth century. They are part of a much greater Tatar population but speak a different language and live in different areas. Large numbers of Crimean Tatars can be found in Turkey, Romania, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. There are smaller numbers of them in Bulgaria.
The first Tatars arrived in Bulgaria in 1241. The Bulgarians used the term "Tatar" as a reference to Ghenghis Khan's successors, the Golden Horde. Some of these Tatar military forces defected to join the Bulgarians. In the 1500s and 1600s several groups of Tatar nomads settled in Bulgaria, which was under the control of the Ottoman Empire at that time. These nomads were prone to conduct raids, and the Ottomans either gave them special messenger and military assignments or added them to their military administration. This group of Crimean Tatars eventually lost their identity and basically became part of the Turkish Ottomans.
The Ottoman Empire conquered Bessarabia in the 1500s, setting the stage for larger numbers of Crimean Tatars to emigrate to Dobruja, a region that straddles Bulgaria and Romania.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Family ties are very important to the Crimean Tatars. The size of the immediate family ranges from four to five members. However, two or three generations will often live in the same house. The great majority of the Crimean Tatars marry within their culture, unlike some of their Tatar cousins. The family is strongly patriarchal (dominated by the men). The line of descent is through the father and inheritance is passed down through the males. Work is divided along traditional lines with men working outside and women tending to the children and the household duties.

What Are Their Beliefs?

All Crimean Tatars are Sunni Muslims. There are a small number of disciples of Christ found among them in Bulgaria.

What Are Their Needs?

The Crimean Tatars need to find their way to Jesus Christ who can give them an identity in Him that will help them find abundant life. The Church in Bulgaria can reach out to these Muslims.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Crimean Tatars to receive justice and mercy so that their needs will be met.
Pray for the Lord to reveal himself to Crimean Tatars who are willing to seek and find the only Savior.
Pray for Holy Spirit-driven workers to go to the Crimean Tatars in Bulgaria.
Pray for a movement to Christ among the Crimean Tatars.

Text Source:   Joshua Project