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Kabardian in Syria


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Kabardian in Syria map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
40,000 Kabardian Islam 0.05 % 0.00 %   

Kabardian in Syria

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Introduction / History
Like many other Kabardian newly-married couples in Nal 'chik, capital of Kabardino/Balkaria Republic, Azamat and Zalena exit the government building where marriages are registered and—in a noisy honking caravan with family and friends—drive their way to Pse Zhyg ("Tree of Life"). They lay flowers, hear solemn words from the wedding master and extend upturned palms as an imam prays. Why – with the later exuberance of traditional dancing, joyful feasting, accordion and drum playing, celebratory pistols firing into the air – is this sober, serious place an obligatory first stop?

The Kabardians—over one million total in worldwide population, perhaps 600,000 in the North Caucasus—are the largest surviving 'tribe' of the northwestern Caucasus' Circassian language family. [The Adyghe are the other surviving Circassian major people group in the Caucasus.] In an earlier era, venerating sacred trees – also mountains, horses, fire and a pantheon of gods – was part of the Kabardians' eclectic pagan/Christian/Islamic blend of religious practices. But this "Tree of Life," its seven sets of branches woven to form a skyward arrow, is a monument to the victims of the century-long Russo-Circassian wars that ended in 1864. Considering the Circassians' epic devastation and the tragic expulsion/emigration/destruction of ninety percent of their population from their homelands in Russia, the Kabardians' national survival in any form into modern times is almost unbelievable. So now, every Kabardian wedding represents future hope for a people who came so dangerously close to ethnic extermination.

For all their past plights, Kabardians embody some remarkable aspects of human beauty and strength. If a people's proverbs reveal their cultural values, attentive hospitality certainly ranks high. One can find a hundred folk sayings on the sacred duties of host-guest relationships in Kabardian "khabze," that is, their traditional norms of behavior or customary protocol. For example, "A guest is a messenger from God." Or, "The guest of a Kabardian is as safe as if protected by a fortress."

Honor for elders and those with recognized status is also a value. One familiar with the rules of Khabze would be able to tell which persons in a line of folks walking abreast down a sidewalk are accorded the proper places of respect in that line. Khabze would also determine the intentional seating arrangement in a living room conversation or at a meal. Youth are trained to serve and defer to elders.

Kabardian national dances reveal this code of honor. The straight backs, regal movements and modest costuming all display a dignity and pride in Kabardian heritage.

Yet this precious people have darkened hearts like all human beings. Equal to hospitality as a cultural value is the code of blood revenge. While not always literally practiced, it underscores a generationally ingrained defensiveness and unwillingness to reconcile offenses. Corruption in spheres of life from politics to academics to business degrades society. Once characterized by folk Islam, Kabardians are now increasingly plagued by an encroaching attraction to radicalism among many youth. Attacks and counterattacks between rebels and military/police both claim innocent lives and exacerbate instability, and deepen bitterness and mistrust in the region.

Prayer Points
Against this backdrop, the 75-100 scattered Kabardian believers have an opportunity to shine as lights. Pray for boldness, unity, and vision. Isaiah 60: 1-3 Philippians 2:15
Pray for the circulation of translated Scriptures into Kabardian cultural circles. The Kabardian New Testament was published in 2011. Audio versions of Luke, Ruth & Jonah are also prepared—and soon Proverbs. PRAY for the completion of the entire Bible in Kabardian in the next decade. Heb.4:12
Pray that spiritual barriers that have kept the gospel from advancing would be broken down. II Corinthians 10: 3-5
Ask for divinely prepared people who will believe the good news and also lovingly, courageously share it throughout their entire relational network. Matthew 9: 36-38 Luke 10: 1-9
Pray for a reproducing, culturally relevant movement of faith – that Jesus can be seen as 'fully dressed in Kabardian clothes.' PRAY miracles, visions, dreams and other means would pave the way for a response to Jesus. Hebrews 2: 3-4
Beseech God that thousands upon thousands of Kabardians might someday experience eternal hope and refreshment at The Tree of Life -- Revelation 2:7; 22:1-3 -- whose leaves are for the healing of the nations!

View Kabardian in all countries.

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Country: Syria
Continent: Asia
Region: Africa, North and Middle East
Persecution Rank:12 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Dimashq Governorate; Damascus, Aleppo, possibly other cities.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Country Map:Political map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Kabardian
People Name General: Kabardian
Alternate People Names:
East CircassianKabado-Cherkes
Upper Circassian
ROP3 Code: 102815
Joshua Project People ID: 11675
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 40,000
Population all Countries: 2,033,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Eurasian Peoples
People Cluster: Caucasus
People Name General: Kabardian
Ethnic Code: CEW17a
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Kabardian (40,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): kbd    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.05 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.95 % 
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: 1991
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 / VideoJesus Film: view in Kabardian
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoWorld Christian Videos
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralGospel resources links
Text / Printed MatterBible: Kabardian
Text / Printed MatterIBT, Russia - resources
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Kabardian in Syria

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Caucasus     Africa, North and Middle East    
      Kabardian Syria    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Kabardian in Syria          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Kabardian  
    All Religions                              

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