Kyrgyz in United States

Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Kyrgyz
Country: United States
10/40 Window: No
Population: 18,000
World Population: 5,982,000
Primary Language: Kyrgyz
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
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 large majority of Kyrgyz people in the world live in the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan. Smaller populations live in China, Russian, Tajikistan and at least six other countries. Although they are related to Kazakh and other Turkic peoples of the region, the Kyrgyz look like Mongols. More than any other Central Asian people, the Kyrgyz have clung to their traditional way of life as nomadic herders. They have also maintained their tribal organization even in Western countries.

The name "Kyrgyz" means "the descendants of forty maidens." The Kyrgyzstan flag has forty sun rays to represent the Kyrgyz heritage.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1990, some Kyrgyz migrated to the USA in search of a better life.

A complete Bible and the JESUS Film are available in the Kyrgyz language.

What Are Their Lives Like?

When a Kyrgyz family comes to the USA, they must make huge changes. Their old employment as animal herders and traders is not needed in a modern, industrial nation like the USA. Kyrgyz must learn English and enroll their children in school. The adults often must take menial jobs like driving taxis and working in restaurants and in sanitation while their English skills improve. The dream of Kyrgyz parents is for their children to graduate from universities and enter professional careers in medicine, science, administration, finance, and education.

Women are held in high esteem once they are married and have children, especially sons. In their homeland men can have up to four wives if he can afford them. In the USA, only one wife is legal. After a few years, Kyrgyz young people become much as other American youth. They speak English fluently and adopt American culture. In Kyrgyzstan people tend to marry within their group. In the USA young people frequently marry outside of their people group.

Music, dance and storytelling are important parts of the Kyrgyz culture. The Kyrgyz have the longest oral epic in the word entitled "Manas." It contains 100,000 lines of verse. Folk tales are often sung, accompanied by a three-stringed guitar called a dombra. Kyrgyz parents want their children to continue to celebrate their culture and Muslim holidays.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Today, almost all Kyrgyz still consider themselves to be Muslim; however, some shamanistic and Tengrism practices still exist in their homeland. Shamanism is the belief that there is an unseen world of many gods, demons and ancestral spirits. Tengrism is a belief system in which the sky god Tengri rules over nature. Almost all Kyrgyz believers have to go through a breaking of demonic powers over their lives once they decide to follow Christ.

After seven decades of atheistic teaching in the Soviet Union, some Kyrgyz are secular and are Muslim in name only.

If a Kyrgyz becomes a Christian, his neighbors and family frequently see this as a betrayal to his identity and family unity.

What Are Their Needs?

Newly arrived Kyrgyz must find a place to stay and find employment. They need help in learning English. Most of all the Kyrgyz need to hear the good news about Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life.

Prayer Points

Pray that local Kyrgyz believers would be discipled and mobilized to reach even more of their own people.

Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into Kyrgyzstan and to Kyrgyz people in the USA

Pray that God will raise up prayer teams to go and break up the soil through worship and intercession.

Ask the Lord to raise up strong church planting movement among the Kyrgyz in the USA and in Kyrgyzstan.

Text Source:   Joshua Project