Shapsug, Circassian in Russia

Shapsug, Circassian
Photo Source:  Ron Almog - Flickr  Creative Commons 
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People Name: Shapsug, Circassian
Country: Russia
10/40 Window: No
Population: 4,000
World Population: 4,000
Primary Language: Adyghe
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Caucasus
Affinity Bloc: Eurasian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Shapsugs are one of 12 Circassian tribes. They established themselves as a feared military force in the late 1700s. This was a time when the Russian Empire was becoming strong enough to deal powerful blows even to other empires like the Ottomans. The Russians had to make deals with the Shapsugs.

In the 1860s, most Circassian people had either been killed or they moved to Turkey, then known as the Ottoman Empire. Between the late 1920s into the 1930s, the Shapsug Circassians were given their own autonomous region. Since that time they have been classified as part of the Adegeis, another Muslim people from this region. They speak a dialect of the Adegei language.

Where Are they Located?

The Shapsug Circassians in Russia live north of the Black Sea. Many more of them live in Turkey, Syria, Jordan, or Iraq. More of them live in Turkey than in Russia.

What Are Their Lives Like?

We know very little about how the Shapsug Circassians live today. Some places that list the peoples of Russia no longer include the Shapsug people.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Like other Circassian people, the Shapsugs are Sunni Muslim. However, they are not devout Muslims. Some of them even eat pork, which is the key taboo for Muslims.

What Are Their Needs?

The Shapsug Circassians in Russia need to internalize the fact that they need a savior, and following any form of religion will not please the One True God.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Holy Spirit to move mightily to draw Shapsug Circassians to the Lord.
Pray that these Muslims will recognize that Islam cannot save them from sin or from the eternal consequences of sin.
Pray for Russian believers to boldly reach out in love to the Shapsugs.
Pray for a church planting movement among them that will spread throughout their Black Sea homeland.

Text Source:   Keith Carey