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Mussulman Tat in Azerbaijan

Mussulman Tat

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Mussulman Tat in Azerbaijan map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
25,000 Tat, Muslim Islam 1.30 % 1.20 % No No   

Mussulman Tat in Azerbaijan

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Introduction / History
The Mussulman Tat of Azerbaijan live in the mountain valleys of the north and northeastern parts of the country. They also live in northwestern Iran, in the mountain valleys along the Azerbaijani border. A large number also live in the capital city of Baku. They are part of three distinct religious communities that fall into a category known as tats. The three groups include the Jewish Tat (known as mountain Jews), the Christian Tat, and the Muslim Tat. The small group of Mussulman Tat who live in Azerbaijan are part of the Muslim Tat. Most of the Tat groups live over the border in Iran.

The Turks originally coined the term "tats" to designate settled groups of non-Turkic origin. Both the Muslim Tat and the Mussulman Tat speak a native language known as Tati. Because no alphabet exists for Tati, they use Azeri (Azerbaijani) for their written and literary language. Depending on the area in which they live, the Tat speak other regional languages in addition to their own. There may be a Christian Tat dialect, but this cannot be confirmed.

What are their lives like?
Although the Azerbaijani Mussulman Tat have been an agricultural people from the beginning of their history, they have also developed a strong urban community. Farmers living in the valleys raise wheat, barley, maize, and cattle. Those living in mountain villages raise sheep, bulls, and buffaloes. In the northeastern area, communities consisting of 80 to 120 households are located in mountain settlements built on ledges.

The rural Mussulman Tats still live in their ancestral villages among the mountains and valleys. The availability of well water determines the village location. Each villages contains a mosque, a bath area, and a well, as well as family dwellings.

Mussulman Tats in rural areas usually live in one- or two-story homes, which are constructed of rectangular-shaped natural stones cemented with clay mortar. The houses feature flat roofs and front porches supported by wooden pillars. Families living in two-story homes use the upper floor for living quarters and the lower floor for workspace.

Azerbaijan is an ethnically complex country where minority groups staunchly defend their traditional differences and struggle for local autonomy. The Tats are considered a closed society because they insist on maintaining ethnic purity by allowing marriage only within the tribe.

Although education is compulsory for children between the ages of six and eleven, many classroom facilities are inadequate. Classes are segregated by sex, and the major emphasis is on religion and traditional values.

What are their beliefs?
Almost all of the Azerbaijani Mussulman Tats are Muslim. The great majority are Shi'a (Shi'ite) Muslim and about one-tenth are Sunni Muslim. Because of continued Soviet persecution, Mussulman Tats practice their religion in semi-secrecy, a pattern known as "parallel Islam."

Mussulman Tats adhere to the five essential "pillars" or duties in Islam: (1) A Muslim must affirm that "there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet." (2) Five times a day he must pray while facing Mecca. (3) He must give an obligatory percentage (very similar to tithes) on an annual basis. (4) He must fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year. (5) He must try to make at least one pilgrimage to Mecca in his lifetime.

Most Muslims believe in the traditional form of marriage for life. However, some traditionalist Shi'ites still practice mutah, a form of temporary marriage that can be dissolved at any time stipulated in the premarital agreement.

What are their needs?
There has been little evangelization among Mussulman Tats because they are such a small group within the Indo-European population. Few Mussulman Tats in Azerbaijan are Christian.

Prayer Points
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil through intercession.
* Ask God to grant wisdom and favor any missions agencies focusing on Mussulman Tats.
* Ask God to use the small number of Mussulman Tat Christians to share the love of Jesus with their own people.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of Mussulman Tats towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Mussulman Tats.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.
* Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.

View Mussulman Tat in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-11-23
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-09-18
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Country: Azerbaijan
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Central
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Balakhan district: Surakhan region on Apsheron peninsula; Baku, Davichi, Kuba, Sizan, and Vartashen cities; Afruja, Chichi, Dagkushu, Genvab, Konakhkend, Lakhij, and Matrasa villages; widespread in mountains near Qonaqkend.
(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: Mussulman Tat
People Name General: Mussulman Tat
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 106963
Joshua Project People ID: 13896
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 25,000
Population all Countries: 37,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
People Cluster: Persian
People Name General: Mussulman Tat
Ethnic Code: CNT24f
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Tat, Muslim (25,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ttt    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Sub-division:Shia
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity1.30 %(Evangelical: 1.20 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam98.70 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent1.00 %
Protestant1.00 %
Orthodox98.00 %
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 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2000-2011
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
Film / VideoThe Prophets' Story
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
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

Mussulman Tat in Azerbaijan

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Persian     Asia, Central    
      Mussulman Tat Azerbaijan    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Mussulman Tat in Azerbaijan          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Tat, Muslim  
    All Religions                              

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