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Lak in Uzbekistan


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Lak in Uzbekistan map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
3,700 Lak Islam 0.00 % 0.00 % No   

Lak in Uzbekistan

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Introduction / History
The elderly Lak man mused to himself, "I still remember my first 15 years in our ancient mountain village of Churtakh. We young men would go with the sheep to the high mountain pastures and then when the weather started getting cold we'd take the sheep far down into the lowlands and graze them there for two or three months. Those were great adventures. Down in the lowlands we would mingle with other Dagestani peoples and learn some of their languages; but after a few months we'd head home with our sheep back up into the rugged mountains of our Lak region. But in 1944 the military came to our village and forced us all to move hundreds of miles to the northwest to a windswept plain and start life all over, far away from our mountains." This gentleman, now in his 80s, has lived for the last 70 years in the lowland settlement of Novo-churtakh in northwestern Dagestan near the border with Chechnya. In that war-torn decade of the 1940s this region was renamed the Novo-Lakskoe Region. Now, in these years his family has only a few sheep and cattle, and makes their living mostly off of sedentary agriculture. Some of the men work in factories in the nearby city of Khasavyurt.

The situation wasn't only difficult for the Lak people. The region they were forcibly resettled to had been the centuries-old homeland of the Akkin people. In that year 1944 the Soviet KGB (under Stalin) brutally deported the Akkin, along with their nearby Chechen cousins, to the barren steppes of Central Asia. Many Akkin died in the process. Under Kruschchev, after 1957, the Akkin were allowed to return. But most of their villages and farm lands were now resettled for nearly 15 years by the transplanted Lak clans. What to do? Some of the Lak returned to their original mountain village region in south central Dagestan and rebuilt abandoned villages. Some remained and tenuously worked out accommodations with the returned Akkins. Other Laks eventually resettled to a new lowland region in northeastern Dagestan near the Caspian Sea, north of the capital city of Makhachkala.

Today, in the early 21st century, total Lak population in the Russian province of Dagestan is nearly 160,000. Laks are located in approximately 10 towns/villages in the northwestern NovoLakskoe Region, in approximately 12 villages in northeastern Dagestan, and perhaps 50 still-active villages in the original mountain homeland region in south-central Dagestan. Many Lak have also relocated to the urban center of Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan. All of these upheavals have 'stretched' the Lak, not only geographically but also emotionally and relationally. The Lak were one of the first of all Dagestani peoples to convert to Islam in the 8th Century, and for many centuries their mountain central town of Kumukh was a center of Islamic learning. Now in this era the Lak hold a position of respect for many Dagestanis, partly due to their ancient leadership and also now due to their unifying influence as they have stretched into many sectors of Dagestan. Starting in the 1990s a significant number of urban Lak came to faith in Jesus—there are now more than 50 Lak believers, mostly in urban sectors of Dagestan.

The New Testament books of Mark and Luke were completed in Lak 12 years ago, but then Bible work stalled due to no team leadership available. Thank-fully, in 2010 a young Russian linguist, with his family, has moved to Dagestan and restarted Lak linguistic work; presently the Gospel of Matthew is being translated, with the future goal of finishing the NT.

Lak history is majestic, and yet tragic, and often the deficit of loving grace is palpably felt. Pray that the Lak people—in the midst of their many upheavals—will be drawn to 'the Father of mercies and God of all comfort' in the love of Christ. II Cor.1:3

Prayer Points
* Pray for the Lak believers to shine as bright lights in the midst of their Lak families & clans. Phil.2:12-15
* Pray for encouragement & success for the newly reassembled Lak Bible Translation Team. Hebrews 4:12
* Pray for men and women of peace (Luke 10:6) in each one of the 72 Lak towns & villages, to be keys to welcom-ing the love of God, the grace of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit into each Lak community in the years ahead. Matthew 9:36-38 & Hebrews 2:3-4
* Pray boldly that the Lak people, with their 'stretching' relational dynamics and position of honor in Dagestani society, will be used by the Lord to bring grace to many other Dagestani peoples. Romans 10: 11-15!
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.
* Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.

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Prayer Links
  Submit Update:
Country: Uzbekistan
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Central
Persecution Rank:18 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Submit Map:
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: Lak
People Name General: Lak
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 105583
Joshua Project People ID: 12952
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 3,700
Population all Countries: 176,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
Affinity Bloc: Eurasian Peoples
People Cluster: Caucasus
People Name General: Lak
Ethnic Code: CEW17b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Lak (3,700 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): lbe    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Vixlin
Dialect Code:12694
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam100.00 % 
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
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
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
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 / VideoJesus Film: view in Lak
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

Lak in Uzbekistan

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Caucasus     Asia, Central    
      Lak Uzbekistan    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Lak in Uzbekistan          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Lak  
    All Religions                              

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