People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Balkar in Kyrgyzstan


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Send us a map of this people group in this country.
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
1,400 Karachay-Balkar Islam 2.03 % 0.00 %   

Balkar in Kyrgyzstan

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
The life of a shepherd has never been easy. In ancient times, we read of the shepherd boy David, who fought against wild animals to save his flock. For centuries, the historically-Muslim Balkar people have lived in the highlands of the Caucasus Mountains (southern Russia) in the province of Kabardino-Balkaria, shepherding their flocks and their livestock. This livelihood is passed from father to son, beginning at a very young age. It's never-ending, strenuous work. Expanding their property to accommodate increased herds is something shepherds strive for, since a man's fortune is ranked by the number of cattle or sheep he owns. Pray that the Shepherd of souls would reveal Himself to them, and that they would receive the guidance of the Good Shepherd in their lives.

The Balkar originally lived in homes made of mud and wood. Today, their houses are built with brick or stone and have tile or slate roofs. The homes usually have two stories and most have porches. Pray that they would build their spiritual homes on a solid foundation (Mt.7:24-27) that never fails.

Where are they located?
Names of Balkar towns and villages:
1. Tyrnyauz
2. Terskol
3. Elbrus
4. Bylym
5. Bedyk
6. Baydayevo
7. Tegenekli
8. Lashkuta
9. Upper Baksan
10. Khabas
11. Kichmalka
12. Köndelen
13. New Balkaria
14. Yanikoi
15. Kamenka
16. Lower Chegem
17. Khushto-Syrt
18. Eltybyu
19. Bulungu
20. Bezengi
21. Kara-Su
22. Gerpegezh
23. Babugent
24. Upper Balkaria
25. Kashkhatau
26. Upper Zhemtala
27. Tashly-Tala
28. Khasanya
29. Belaya Rechka

What are their lives like?
The Balkar people are traditionally mountain-dwellers, but the scarcity of usable land has forced many to move to the capital city, Nalchik, and further, to Moscow, in order to gain education and jobs.

The New Testament has been translated into the Balkar language. Additional evangelistic tools, such as the Jesus film, the Magdelena film, and Balkar Worship Music, are available to the Balkar people.

The Balkars -- a Turkic-speaking people whose ethno-genesis remains unclear -- currently constitute approximately 10 percent of the total 786,200 population of the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic in southern Russia; Kabardians account for 50 percent and Russians some 32 percent.

What are their beliefs?
There is a small group of believers among the Balkar people. In 1957 Ibrahim became the first Balkar believer. He found Jesus while living in a foreign land under the deportation of Stalin. It would be another 32 years until another Balkarian would come into the Shepherd's fold--in 1989--and a third became a follower of Jesus in 1991 as the Iron Curtain of the Soviet Union was torn down. The small group of Christians struggles to develop Christian practices in a culture where every aspect of life, from birth, to marriage, to death, is governed by folk-Islamic and Balkar traditions. Pray that they would discern the freedom of Christ in their worship and in their communal relationships.

Several adolescents have prayed to receive Christ at summer camp, but have no ongoing Christian influence in their lives, so pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to nurture them.

Prayer Points
Ask the Lord to send loving Russian Christians to minister Life to their Muslim neighbors. Matthew 9:36-38
Pray that the Holy Spirit will soften the hearts of the Balkarian people toward the Gospel. Hosea 10:12
Ask God to call forth teams of intercessors who will rise up and faithfully stand in the gap for the Balkar. Luke 18:1-8
Pray for the salvation of key Balkar leaders who will boldly proclaim the Gospel. Acts 4:13

View Balkar in all countries.

Prayer Links
  Submit Update:
Country: Kyrgyzstan
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Central
10/40 Window: Yes
Submit Map:
Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Balkar
People Name General: Balkar
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 100852
Joshua Project People ID: 10608
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 1,400
Population all Countries: 116,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Eurasian Peoples
People Cluster: Caucasus
People Name General: Balkar
Ethnic Code: MSY41z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Karachay-Balkar
Language Code (ISO): krc    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Kyrgyz (Unknown)Russian (Unknown)
Total Languages: 3
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity2.03 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam97.97 % 
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
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 1978-1995
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
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Film / Video / Animation
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Karachay-Balkar
Film / VideoWorld Christian Videos
GeneralGospel resources links
Text / Printed MatterBible: Karachay-Balkar
Text / Printed MatterIBT, Russia - resources
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Balkar in Kyrgyzstan

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

Direct link: