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Dargin in Russia


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Dargin in Russia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
447,000 Dargwa Islam 0.01 % 0.01 % No   

Dargin in Russia

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Introduction / History
The Dargin People of Dagestan are the second largest linguistic group of Dagestan. However, more than any other people group of Dagestan, the Dargin are really not just one group—but rather a collection of closely-related distinct language circles in south central Dagestan, which collectively are known as the Dargin (or Dargwa). Language experts count 17 to 19 nearly mutually unintelligible languages in the Dargin sphere, and at least 40 additional named dialects within those language circles. As a matter of fact, the very word 'Dargwa' means 'free distinct societies/communities.' In the early 20th Century, the collection of all these 'free societies (Dargwas)' became known as the greater Dargin region.

Dargin communities, traditionally strong in trading/commerce, have maintained their ancient family structures, village assemblies and councils of elders. Though their economy is predominantly agricultural, the Dargins have developed rudimentary production and crafts such as carving, stone-working, tanning, and metal-working for weapons and implements—to support farming and livestock-raising. Many Dargin have migrated down from the more than 110 Dargin villages/towns in the mountains to lowland urban regions in Dagestan near the Caspian Sea, including large numbers of Dargin in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan. In many of these urban enclaves Dargin traditions remain strong; in others, due to urban mixture, less so. The Dargin (along with the Avar) are considered one of the two most powerful ethnic groups of Dagestan. All Dargin circles in Dagestan together total more than 500,000 in population.

Sunni Islam first arrived in the Dargwa region of Dagestan by the 8th Century, and became firmly established as the official religion by the 14th Century.The Islam of the Dargins, though, has a strongly syncretistic nature, with a substantial heritage of pre-Islamic beliefs given folk Islamic form. The agricultural calendar & ceremonies and household & family rites have retained many elements of their original animism--practices for warding off evil and other forms of magic. Pre-Islamic traditions are reflected in the rite of the first furrow--the most important and ceremonially richest Dargwa rite—also in the rites for causing and stopping rain, calling out the sun, veneration of sacred trees, and shrines of deceased holy men.Local Islam is ruled by the jamaat, the council of elders in each village.

The Dargin come from a powerful ethnic tradition—indeed the very name 'Dargwa' means 'strong, free communities.' However, bondage to superstition, violent power struggles, pervasive male drunkenness, and other endemic forms of human sin, leave this proud collection of peoples far from free. Present-day Dagestan is beset by increasing cycles of violence--squelching trade, tourism, and economic well-being. In the past two decades there are now 40+ Dargin followers of Jesus in Dagestan. Since 2007 Matthew, Mark, and Luke have been published in Dargin—John, Acts, and Revelation are nearly ready, with the goal the entire New Testament in the next decade. This incarnational work of the gospel in the Dargin world is crucial. Islam brings a form of law, but not regenerative grace. As John 1 says, "The law came through Moses, but grace and truth through Jesus Christ." For these proud Dargin communities, Jesus' promise is, "If you continue in My word, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!"

Where are they located?
Names of major Dargin towns:
1. Akusha
2. Sergo-kala
3. Urkarakh
4. Leva-shi
5. Manas [mixed population]
6. Karabudakent [mixed population]
7. Izberbash [mixed population]
8. Mamedkala & Chinar [mixed]

Prayer Points
* Pray for true freedom for the Dargin people. John 8:32
* Pray for men and women of peace (Luke 10:6) in each one of the 110+ Dargin towns & villages, to be keys to welcoming the love of God, the grace of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit into each Dargwa community in the years ahead. Matthew 9:36-38 & Hebrews 2:3-4
* Thank God for the new believers among the Dargin -- Pray for their number to continually increase. Col. 1:6
* Pray for dreams and visions among open-hearted Dargin, both young and old. Acts 2:17 & 2 Chron.16:9
* Pray for blessing upon God's Word in Dargin, into many Dargin lives, both urban & rural. Isaiah 55:11
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.

View Dargin in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-02-12
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-03-06
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-03-11
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-03-01
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Country: Russia
Continent: Asia
Region: Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Persecution Rank:41 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: No
Total Provinces on file:1
Location in Country:Dagestan Republic.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Dargin
People Name General: Dargin
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 102454
Joshua Project People ID: 11505
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 447,000
Population all Countries: 459,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Eurasian Peoples
People Cluster: Caucasus
People Name General: Dargin
Ethnic Code: CEW17b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Dargwa
Language Code (ISO): dar    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.01 %(Evangelical: 0.01 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.99 % 
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
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2002–2013
New Testament: None Reported
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 RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Dargwa
Film / VideoThe Prophets' Story
Ministry Activity
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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

Dargin in Russia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Caucasus     Europe, Eastern and Eurasia    
      Dargin Russia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Dargin in Russia          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Dargwa  
    All Religions                              

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