Introduction / History The Abaza people hail from what is now southwestern Russia. There are a number of Sunni Muslim people in that volatile region. Some have migrated to Egypt and other countries hoping to find peace and prosperity. As time goes on, the Abaza people have adopted many of the linguistic and cultural ways of the Arab majority. For this reason, we call them "Arabized" Abazas.
What are their lives like? The Abazinians in Egypt have managed to become part of Egypt's elite. For many generations they have inter-married with the movers and shakers of Egypt, the largest and in some ways the most influential country in the Arabic-speaking world.
What are their beliefs? Arabized Abazas are Sunni Muslims who believe that the One, Supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah. Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe that Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will. In most of the Muslim world, people depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.
Prayer Points Pray for discovery Bible studies to spread rapidly as they bless Abaza families and neighborhoods. Ask the Lord to save key leaders who will boldly disciple others in the ways of Jesus. Pray for the discipleship groups to spread from family to family.