Kyrgyz in Ukraine

Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Kyrgyz
Country: Ukraine
10/40 Window: No
Population: 900
World Population: 5,982,000
Primary Language: Kyrgyz
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 5.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.70 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Kyrgyz
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Kyrgyz are a Turkic people who have their origins in southern Siberia and northeastern China. Slowly they migrated to Mongolia and beyond. In the 9th century Kyrgyz forces allied with China's Tang Dynasty to defeat the Uyghurs. In the 13th century they had to flee from the advancing Mongol Empire. The Kyrgyz became a distinct nationality in the 14th century. They settled in highland dwellings of northwestern China during the 15th century. For centuries they have often needed to flee dangerous nations. Most of them are sandwiched between superpowers, Russia and China. In the 20th century alone, many fled the power struggle in Russia leading up to the Bolshevik Revolution and the Chinese Communist Revolution in 1949. Amid their vulnerable situation the Kyrgyz strive to maintain their own ethnic identity. Though the Kyrgyz have their own nation, Kyrgyzstan, there are some who live in each of the Central Asian countries including Mongolia and Iran. They also live in Russia, Ukraine and certain Eastern European nations. In most of these places, including Ukraine, they have a small population.

What Are Their Lives Like?

A small number of Kyrgyz have fled their home country to Ukraine to find work and freedom. Even those who are well educated often must settle for hard labor jobs with long hours and low pay. They send most of the money home to Kyrgyzstan. They work without medical care. Some are there fighting alongside the Russian invaders. Many share small apartments with other migrant laborers. The Kyrgyz in Ukraine often turn to drugs or alcohol.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Kyrgyz people are nominal Muslims. Those who live in Ukraine do not have deep roots in the faith. The good news is that the Ukraine has been dubbed the "Bible Belt" of the former USSR because of its deep Christian heritage. Churches and Christian resources are available there. There is a higher percentage of Kyrgyz Christian believers in Ukraine than any other country.

What Are Their Needs?

They Kyrgyz people in Ukraine need hope. True hope comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ, mankind's guide to life. They also need job training so they can earn better wages.

Prayer Points

Pray for gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Kyrgyz people for Jesus and that in God's sovereign timing their hearts would be open and ready to follow him. Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended families so the gospel will spread rapidly among the Kyrgyz, not only in Ukraine but also in Kyrgyzstan. Pray for the spiritual lives of the Kyrgyz people to become fruitful as they follow Christ. Pray for the lives and culture of the Kyrgyz people to evidence the rule and reign of the Kingdom of God as they open to the gospel, and for the beauty of Jesus to be seen in them.

Text Source:   Joshua Project