Uyghur in Canada

Photo Source:  EnricX - Flickr  Creative Commons 
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People Name: Uyghur
Country: Canada
10/40 Window: No
Population: 2,100
World Population: 12,316,300
Primary Language: Uyghur
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Uyghur
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Before 1921 the various Turkic groups in Xinjiang called themselves by the name of the oasis near which they lived. When Turkic leaders met in Tashkent in 1921, they chose the name Uygur as the mark of their identity. Uygur means "unity" or "alliance."

Uygur is a Turkic language, related to Uzbek, Kazak, and Kirgiz. It also contains loanwords from Chinese, Arabic, Persian, Russian, and Mongolian.

In the mid-eighth century the Uygurs inhabited part of present-day Mongolia. Around AD 840 they were attacked from the north by the Kirgiz and fled southwest to their current homeland in what is now China's Xinjiang Province.

Xinjiang is the border between the Chinese and the Turkic worlds. It is part of China, but the Uygur people are Turkic in their looks, their religion, and their culture. Many want to break away from China, causing violent clashes between the powerful Chinese government and Uygur separatists. As a result, some have left their homeland.

Where Are they Located?

Most the Uygurs live in China, but many live in neighboring Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan and Turkey. There is a small number in Canada.

What Are Their Lives Like?

It was reported in the news in 2016 that a Uygur living in Canada was imprisoned by the Chinese government. Uygurs in Canada say that the Chinese government is trying to infiltrate and intimidate their community.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Uygurs follow a folk Islam mixed with superstition. Today, although almost all Uygurs confess to be Muslims, few are aware of the time in history when the majority of Uygurs were Christians.

What Are Their Needs?

Uygurs need to put their identity in Christ, not in anything less. They have the chance to hear the gospel in Canada where there are fewer Uygur believers than there are in China.

Prayer Points

Pray that Uygurs in Canada will surrender their hearts and minds to the Risen Christ.
Pray for Canadian believers to reach out to the Uygurs among them.
Pray for a strong disciple making movement among Uygurs in Canada that will affect other Muslim peoples in that country.

Text Source:   Keith Carey