Bagvalal in Russia

Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Bagvalal
Country: Russia
10/40 Window: No
Population: 6,700
World Population: 6,700
Primary Language: Bagvalal
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Translation Started
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Caucasus
Affinity Bloc: Eurasian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Bagvalal people of western Dagestan speak their own distinct language and live in six major villages at high altitude.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Winter among the high Caucasus peoples, such as the Bagvalal, runs from late September to the end of April. The ridge above the Bagvalal village of Kvanada sits at 8500 feet. Southeast of Tlondada village the mountains soar to 11,000 feet. Snow covers the Bagvalal villages typically from October until the end of April. For the cattle and sheep to survive the winter, the Bagvalal must accomplish massive hay gathering from the nearby hillsides in July, August and September. They also store and pickle items of the harvest for the winter, and the residents hope that 4-wheel drive vehicles can successfully make it in and out of the region several times during the winter for resupply.
The Bagvalal are rugged, with fierceness on many points and few elements of grace.

What Are Their Beliefs?

They practice traditional Sunni Islam, with its dictates of works righteousness and a distant, stern Allah God.

What Are Their Needs?

The Bagvalal need to be warmed by the love of God, the grace of Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Instead, for centuries now among the Bagvalal it's felt like "forever winter, and never Christmas."

Prayer Points

Pray for linguists to study and respect the Bagvalal language. May they build bridges of friendship based on God’s love and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Pray for two new prayer initiatives to bear fruit and build bridges of grace and love in the Bagvalal culture.
Pray for long term relational presence within the Bagvalal community.
Pray for linguistic and musical efforts to develop gospel materials in the Bagvalal language.

Text Source:   Joshua Project