Introduction / History
In the 700s and 800s, Arabs were fanning out over a large part of North Africa and Central Asia to conquer and to spread the Islamic religion. Through the next couple hundred years, more Arabs settled in what are now the Central Asian countries.
Sometimes they came as nomads, other times they came as soldiers. As time went on, they became isolated from the Arab World. Up until the early 20th century when the USSR took over the region, Uzbeki Arab speakers raised crops and livestock, while remaining true to Islam through religious education.
Where are they located?
Ironically, today there are more Uzbeki Arabs in Ukraine than in any Central Asian country. After the demise of the USSR, many found Ukraine to be a better place to find jobs than the Central Asian countries.
What are their lives like?
Uzbeki Arabs do not intermarry with the local population in an attempt to remain a separate people. They may remain separate, but they are few in numbers.
Most of these descendants of the Arabs speak Ukrainian rather than Arabic. There are some who speak a language we call Uzbeki Arabic which is an Arabic dialect which has structural elements from Tajik, a Central Asian language. These people look like Central Asians in their physical characteristics.
What are their beliefs?
Like their ancestors, Uzbeki Arabs are Sunni Muslims, which is a minority religion in Ukraine. Every Friday the men go to the mosque to pray. Then then have a meal prepared in the mosque. Women must pray at home. In Ukraine, some are now Christians.
What are their needs?
Uzbeki Arab speakers need to put their identity in the person of Jesus Christ rather than in their ethnic or linguistic identity.
* Pray for the Lord to thrust out Ukrainian believers to reach the Uzbeki Arabs in their midst.
* Pray that despite their linguistic isolation that these people will have the chance to respond to the person of Jesus Christ.
* Pray for spiritual openness that will lead them to the One who paid for the sins of all mankind.
* Pray for the Lord to send His servants to take the gospel to Uzbeki Arabic speaker.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.
ReferencesView Arab, Uzbeki in all countries.