Introduction / History The Kazakh, a Turkic people, are the second largest Muslim people group of Central Asia. In times past, they may have been the most influential of the various Central Asian ethnic groups. While most of the Kazakh now live in Kazakhstan, they make up less than half of the country's population. Large communities can also be found in Mongolia, Ukraine, and Russia, but there are also some who have migrated to Canada and other western countries.
The Kazakhs developed a distinct ethnic identity in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Several of their clans formed a federation that would provide mutual protection. As other clans joined the federation, its political influence began to take on an ethnic character.
During the nineteenth century, the Russians acquired Central Asia through a steady process of annexation. They eventually claimed the entire territory of Kazakhstan. Tragically, about half of the Kazakh population was killed during the Russian Civil War of the 1920s and 1930s. During this time, many fled to China and Mongolia. Today some of them have wandered even further from home.
Where are they located? There is probably a Kazakh community in Toronto, Ontario.
What are their lives like? The Kazakhs in Canada must adjust to a new culture and new language.
Because of their need to preserve their culture and communities, the Kazakhs have formed cultural organizations to help them stay connected with other Kazakhs.
What are their beliefs? Kazakhs are Muslim, but mostly Muslim in name only. They were largely secularized during the 70 years they suffered under Soviet Russian control. Those who migrated to Canada were affected by the secular culture. If someone were to ask a Kazakh about their religion, they would probably reply that they are Muslim, though they know little about the basics of their religion.
What are their needs? The Kazakhs need a new identity, and that identity can be found in Jesus Christ. Canada is a country that allows for religious freedom, so people can take them the gospel.
Prayer Points Pray that the Kazakhs in Canada will feel the need for a holy, righteous Savior.
Pray that Kazakhs in Canada will find their identity in Christ.
Pray for a disciple-making movement among Kazakhs in Canada that will spread to Kazakhstan.