Karaite in Russia

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People Name: Karaite
Country: Russia
10/40 Window: No
Population: 200
World Population: 1,800
Primary Language: Russian
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Jews
Affinity Bloc: Jews
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Russian Tsars categorized the Karaites as non-Jews because their form of Judaism is so strange. So did the Nazis. Thus, the Karaites escaped Russia's pogroms and the Nazi holocaust.

What Are Their Lives Like?

In many respects, Karaites tend to adopt the customs of their host country. Since most of them live in Israel, the few who remain in Russia are starting to assimilate into mainstream Russian society.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Karaites know they are true Jews, though many of their practices are unusual. They follow only the Tanach, the Jewish Bible, rejecting rabbinic interpretations. They allow each believer to make his/her own interpretation. They often prostrate themselves in prayer, which is rare for any Jewish community. Unlike most Jewish communities, men and women can exercise authority in their groups. They do not wear phylacteries attached to forehead or hand in any form. Karaites understand the Scriptures referring to these in metaphorical terms, so they hide the word of God in their thoughts and let it guide their actions.
In other ways the Karaites possess important commonalities with mainstream Judaism. They observe the Sabbath. Karaites practice total separation from Gentiles and involve themselves in ritual washing. Their prayer books come almost exclusively from Tanach passages.

What Are Their Needs?

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

Prayer Points

Pray that Messianic Jewish believers will see the Karaite community as God sees them.
Ask God to raise up Messianic Jews to go as his ambassadors to the Karaites.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to open Karaite hearts to be receptive to the gospel.
Pray for the establishment of a viable, indigenous and reproducing Karaite church.

Text Source:   Joshua Project