Introduction / History
Lezgin was originally a Turkish term meaning "highland resident." Islamic power swept into the Caspian seacoast region of the Lezgin people already in the 7th and 8th centuries, and has carried huge influence into Lezgin society over the past 1000 years. Traditionally they were a pastoral people who raised livestock in the high grasslands.
Where are they located?
The Lezgins are an unreached people group that lives in the mountains of Georgia, Dagestan, and Azerbaijan. They live in the Georgian villages of Tivi, Chantliskuri, Saruso, Tkhilistskaro.
What are their lives like?
The Lezgins are a hardy people that live in a land of brutally hot summers and bitterly cold winters. Though the land they live in is stunningly beautiful, they live lives that can be described as impoverished both spiritually and economically. Their unemployment rate is extremely high.
Many Lezgin people raise livestock. Using the wool from their sheep, the Lezgins weave beautiful rugs that would provide them with much money if they had the opportunity to sell them on the world market. Others make jewelry. These cottage industries are not providing them enough to live on.
What are their beliefs?
By the end of the 18th century, the Lezgin people were considered 100 percent Muslim. Spiritism and animistic practices are also widespread in Lezgin culture. They tie rags on holy trees or near holy graves to seek spiritual assistance for health or economic good fortune. They frequently consult soothsayers. The Lezgins never completely gave up worshipping the pagan gods they'd worshipped prior to their conversion to Islam.
A few Lezgins have found salvation in Jesus Christ, but there aren't enough of them to form even one fellowship of their own.
What are their needs?
The Lezgin people are vulnerable to the effects of sinful human nature. Neither spiritism nor Islam provides the cleansing forgiveness of Jesus or the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit needed by all mankind. They need the chance to find their way to the cross.
* Pray for the Lezgin believers to shine as bright lights in the midst of their Lezgin families and clans so that others may be drawn to Christ.
* Pray for men and women of peace (Luke 10:6) in each one of the over 142 Lezgin towns and villages, to be keys to welcoming the love of God, the grace of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit into each Lezgin community in the years ahead.
* Give thanks for the Bible translation work which is underway. Pray for wide reading.
* Pray for the noble Lezgin culture to be graced with the fruit of the Spirit in the next generation.
Text source: Keith Carey