Bagvalal in Russia

Bagvalal
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: Unspecified
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.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The rugged, fierce Bagvalal exhibit few elements of grace. They practice traditional Sunni Islam, with its dictates of works righteousness and a distant, stern Allah God. The Bagvalal need to be warmed by the love of God, the grace of Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit—but for centuries now among the Bagvalal it's felt like "forever winter, and never Christmas."

What Are Their Needs?

The Bagvalal need loving, committed workers to go them to them to share the gospel within their culture and in their language.

Prayer Points

Pray for carriers of Jesus' grace to become true friends of the Bagvalal, studying, respecting, helping preserve and translating the Bible and other resources into their amazing, complex language.
Pray that bridges of relationship for God's love and the joy of the Holy Spirit will open up, perhaps starting with connections with the few Bagvalal who live in urban areas of Dagestan.
Pray for the establishment of an indigenous and reproducing Bagvalal church.

Text Source:   Joshua Project