The Crimean Tatars are guests in their own land. A Muslim people group living on the Crimean Peninsula in southern Ukraine, they were deported en masse in May 1944 to Uzbekistan and other far-flung outposts of the Soviet empire during Josef Stalin’s reign of power and paranoia. Under Stalin, thousands were forced to leave Crimea immobilizing their culture and reducing their population significantly. They are indistinguishable from Russians or Ukrainians in terms of dress and language. Today, about 294,000 Crimean Tatars live in Ukraine and eight other countries in Eurasia. The vast majority of Crimean Tatars are followers of Islam.
Engagement // What's Happening Now
Through Global Initiative, workers are being trained to reach out to the Muslims among the Crimean Tatars. Two new courses, “Engaging Islam” and “Christian-Muslim Theological Issues,” form the basis of the new MA in Islamic Studies program through Evangel Theological Seminary in Kyiv.
Many of the students come from Muslim backgrounds and are now working to spread the gospel among the Tatars. As one student testified, “Jesus has set me free from the bondage of fear in which I lived for 43 years of my life . . . Now I can life in freedom and God’s love, every day rejoicing over my salvation and my Savior.”
Sustainability // The Bigger Story
Eurasia Northwest is working to plant the church where it is not. They quote John 4 as their main verse, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.” Their goal is to finish the work of making the gospel accessible to Eurasia Northwest. Pray for teams in Eurasia Northwest as they work to plant churches and finish the task.
Partnership // Move Beyond
- Less than 0.10% of the Tatars are followers of Jesus, pray for Jesus to be revealed to them.
- Pray for the students at the seminary in Kyiv, that God may provide and guide them as they learn about His word.
- Pray for more workers and believers to live and share the gospel among the Tatars in Ukraine.
- Pray for wisdom and peace for those who are called to live and work among this vast people group.
Info source: Joshua Project