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Ulchi in Russia


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Ulchi in Russia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
2,800 Ulch Ethnic Religions 4.00 % 0.70 % No No   

Ulchi in Russia

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Introduction / History
The Ulchi are a small group of indigenous people who live in eastern Siberia near the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Russia. The Ulchi first came into contact with European Russians in the 17th century. The Ulchi traded sable furs to the Russians for things they were unable to make themselves. As sable furs became rarer, the Ulchi traded dried salmon and furs of other animals. The Ulchi speak their own language of Ulch with their families and Russian with outsiders. As far as we know, there are no written Ulch alphabet or Scripture portions translated into Ulch.

What are their lives like?
In many ways the Ulchi live as their ancestors did. Catching and selling salmon is their main source of food and income. They are able to dry the salmon so it can be eaten and sold later. Ulchi also take seals for their meat and skins. A third source of income is hunting deer, rabbits, squirrels, bears and other land animals. The women gather berries, plants and roots during the short warm summers of Siberia. The traditional form of land transportation was sled dogs. These dogs and sleds are being replaced with snowmobiles. The Ulch normally have two homes, one for winter and one for summer. One or more stoves are at the center of their log houses. The winters in Siberia are extremely cold. The Ulchi also have two sets of clothing depending on the time of year. The clothing consists of cotton undergarments covered by layers of animal skins. The Ulch tend to marry among themselves. They will occasionally marry a member of another Far East Russian indigenous people. There is a possibility that the Ulch language could disappear in the next couple of decades as Ulchi young people prefer to speak Russian. A few families of Ulchi moved to the Ukraine during the time of the Soviet Union.

What are their beliefs?
The large majority of the Ulchi practice folk religion. They believe that spirits inhabit the objects of nature such as rocks, rivers, trees, mountains, animals, and the sky. The Ulchi feel that they must appease these natural spirits or they can bring harm on the people and villages. Each village has a shaman who prays, performs rituals and keeps the Ulchi in contact with the spirit world. Ulchi also practice ancestor worship. The dead are honored in various ways and asked to watch over the living. A tiny fraction of the Ulchi claim to be follower of Christ and members of the Russian Orthodox Church.

What are their needs?
The Ulchi need to be delivered from their fear of evil spirits and their ancestors. Only the Lord can do this. He alone can forgive their sins and give them eternal life. The Ulchi need some other sources of income as the animals they live on are getting rarer. They would also benefit by solar cells which could power cell phones and appliances. Modern medical care is often many miles away and not available when an Ulchi person gets ill or injured.

Prayer Points
Pray that each Ulchi adult and child has the opportunity to hear the good news in a way that he or she can understand. Pray that God delivers the Ulchi from their fear of evil spirits. Pray that the Ulch language is put into writing so the people would have the Word of God in their heart language. Pray the Lord raises up a Disciple Making Movement among the Ulchi of Siberia in this decade.
* Pray for translation of the Bible to begin 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.


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Country: Russia
Continent: Asia
Region: Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Khabarovskiy Kray, Ulch county, Amur river and tributaries, Tatar channel coast; Bulava, Dudi, Kalinovka, Mariinskoe, Nizhnaya Gavan, Savinskoe, Mongol, Solontsy, Kolchom, Sofiyskoe, Tur, and Ukhta; Bogorodskove is capital.
(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: Ulchi
People Name General: Ulchi
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 110382
Joshua Project People ID: 15700
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 2,800
Population all Countries: 2,800
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
People Cluster: Ural-Siberian
People Name General: Ulchi
Ethnic Code: MSY41i
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Ulch
Language Code (ISO): ulc    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Russian (Unknown)
Total Languages: 2
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity4.00 %(Evangelical: 0.70 %)
Ethnic Religions96.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
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: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
None Reported
Ministry Activity
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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

Ulchi in Russia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Ural-Siberian     Europe, Eastern and Eurasia    
      Ulchi Russia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Ulchi in Russia          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Ulch  
    All Religions                              

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