Hemshin in Kyrgyzstan

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People Name: Hemshin
Country: Kyrgyzstan
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 1,200
World Population: 26,300
Primary Language: Armenian, Western
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: Armenian
Affinity Bloc: Eurasian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Hemshin are reported to have been ethnic Armenians whose ancestors converted to Islam in the 1890s through 1920s to save themselves from death. They presently are made up of a number of diverse groups of Sunni Muslim and Christian people who originally settled in the Hemsin district in the province of Rize, Turkey. Some have migrating to Kyrgyzstan. Others are living in Russia’s Caucasus region and in Central Asia.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Hemshenis are well-known for the clever jokes, riddles, and stories they tell. The traditional occupations are cultivating tea and maize, raising livestock, and beekeeping.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Hemshin people in Kyrgyzstan are completely Muslim. These people depend upon good works and obedience to the ways of Islam to pay the penalty for their sins. They believe that Allah spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith.

What Are Their Needs?

Full Bible resources exist in their Armenian language, however, they are not readily available to the Hemshin people.

Prayer Points

The country of Kyrgyzstan is hostile to Christian witness. Overt ministry to the Hemshin people will only be possible by Lord Jesus’ enabling. There are no known Christian believers among the Hemshin people at present; pray for those the Lord will soon call to Himself. Pray that teachers will be sent to help them become firmly established in the truth of scripture and will help them learn to walk in the power of the Lord's Spirit. Pray the Hemshin people will increasingly be drawn to Jesus (whom Muslims call Isa al-Masih) as they read the Koran, and that they will be prompted to seek the only true savior. Pray for the Lord to visit them in dreams and visions.

Text Source:   Joshua Project