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Abkhaz in Türkiye


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Abkhaz in Türkiye map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
166,000 Abkhaz Islam 0.00 % 0.00 % No   

Abkhaz in Türkiye

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Introduction / History
Most of the world's Abkhazians live in the nations of Russia and Georgia. However, a significant community can be found living in Turkey. While they are scattered throughout much of the country, the largest concentration of Abkhazians is located along the Black Sea coast in north-central Turkey.

In the fifteenth century, Ottoman Turks conquered the Caucasus Mountain region of Russia and Georgia. At that time, many of the native Abkhazians converted from Christianity to Islam. The Russians, however, gradually took control of the region, and by the late 1800s, they dominated the Muslim Abkhazians. Feeling threatened by Christian Russia, many Abkhazians accepted an offer of refuge from Muslim Turkey and moved there. In recent years, Abkhazians have begun to be assimilated into mainstream Turkish culture and, as a result, are in danger of losing their identity as a separate ethnic group in Turkey.

What are their lives like?
Little is known about the lives of Abkhazians in Turkey; however, it is known that they have retained much of their identity. They have somewhat conserved their Caucasian traditions, and unlike even in the Caucasus (or in Europe), they have preserved their caste system, and still resist assimilation. In addition, Abkhazians have retained their native tongue, which is one of the most complex languages on earth. This language has more than 50 consonants, with numerous pronunciations for each one. Because of the difficulty of their own language, the Abkhazians are adept at learning other languages.

The great majority of Abkhazians are farmers and livestock producers. Tobacco is their major crop, but tea, fruits, and vegetables are also grown. Cattle production is another important aspect of the Abkhazian economy. Because of their livelihood, nine out of ten Abkhazians live in rural areas. Their houses are built of brick or concrete and have either one or two stories. Most homes have verandas and balconies, where families enjoy spending time in good weather.

Most Abkhazian women marry in their early twenties, but men often wait until their thirties or even forties. Marriage is forbidden with all possible relatives; individuals are not allowed to wed anyone with the same surname as any of their grandparents. In the past, the young man and his friends kidnapped the young woman and took her to his house, where the marriage ceremony was performed. Whether or not the bride was abducted, her family does not attend the wedding. She is required to stand silent and secluded while her husband's family feasts and celebrates.

The Abkhazian highly value hospitality. A guest is given the same respect as a father or grandfather and is seated at a place of honor at the table. The arrival of a guest is accompanied by a ritual feast. Over wine, hosts and guests go through rounds of toasts, honoring each other and getting to know each other better. Providing hospitality in this way is a source of family pride.

What are their beliefs?
Although most of the Abkhazians of Russia and Georgia are Christians, those in Turkey are Muslims, at least nominally.

What are their needs?
The Abkhazians of Turkey desperately need to hear of the Savior. Turkey is officially a secular state with a limited amount of religious freedom. Therefore, Christians are not completely free to share their faith.

Prayer Points
Ask the Lord to call Christian Abkhazians from Russia and Georgia to share Christ with their brothers in Turkey.
Ask the Lord to soften the hearts of Turkey's governmental leaders towards the preaching of the Gospel.
Ask the Lord to save key leaders among Abkhazians who will boldly declare the Gospel.
Pray that Christian literature and media will be made available to Abkhazians.
Ask God to raise up intercessors who will stand in the gap for the Abkhazians.
Pray that strong local churches will be raised up among the Abkhazians.
* Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.

View Abkhaz in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-11-10
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Country: Türkiye
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Central
Persecution Rank:41 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Northeast, Artvin Province; also Coruh, Bolu, and Sakarya subprovinces.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Abkhaz
People Name General: Abkhaz
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 100018
Joshua Project People ID: 10130
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 166,000
Population all Countries: 306,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Eurasian Peoples
People Cluster: Caucasus
People Name General: Abkhaz
Ethnic Code: CEW17a
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Abkhaz
Language Code (ISO): abk    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Turkish (Unknown)
Total Languages: 2
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam100.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1912-1981
New Testament:
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Film / VideoJesus Film: View in Abkhaz
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children
GeneralBiblical answers to your questions
GeneralGospel resources links
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Abkhaz in Türkiye

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Caucasus     Asia, Central    
      Abkhaz Türkiye    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Abkhaz in Türkiye          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Abkhaz  
    All Religions                              

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