Avar, Dagestani in Russia

Dagestan is a region of Russia which borders Georgia and Caspian Sea. There are 34 Dagestani people groups, and the Avar are the largest and most influential group in Dagestan. The Avar call themselves Ma’Arulal meaning “free mountaineers, who inhabit the highest lands.” Most live in mountainous regions, but many are moving to the low regions for economic reasons.

Shame and Honor are important to their culture, and to dishonor another person could lead to conflict. The idea of grace is largely absent from their mindset. They are primarily Muslim and Joshua Project estimates there are as many as 50 believers.

Engagement // What’s Happening Now

In an issue of Faces of Eurasia, it tells the story of a boy named Pazik, a university Muslim student in Dagestan, who told a Christian leader helping at a mountain biking trip that he knew he had a purpose in life. At age 12, two of his friends died when playing with an unexploded artillery shell, he survived and he thought to himself that Allah had a plan for him. His leader tried convincing him of the gospel, but only the Holy Spirit can bring him to understanding. Pray for workers as they continue to minister in universities through English classes and sports outreaches.

Sustainability // The Bigger Story

The article, “The Black Holes of Russia,” explains the vastness and diversity of Russia. Though there are churches in Russia, some areas stand in total darkness. Places such as Dagestan, where mosques can be found throughout the area, but there are zero evangelical churches. Despite the great need, there is a strong Pentecostal Union, and through friendships and meaningful conversations, the national church believes for a great harvest.

Partnership // Move Beyond
  • Pray for the ministry being done in the colleges of Dagestan, that the Holy Spirit would lead students to a relationship with Christ.
  • Pray churches are planted and that they would be a light in the dark region.
  • Pray for peace in the lives of new Avar believers.

To get involved, see the Eurasia Pipeline. Interested in more opportunities? See the Wide Open website.

Joshua HuverAvar, Dagestani in Russia