Chechen in Azerbaijan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Islam (Sunni)
Progress Gauge

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Introduction / History

The Chechen language traces back to the Nakh family of languages. Chechen is closely related to the language of the nearby Ingush people, who also live in the Caucasus Mountains. The two languages are not mutually intelligible. Those who have heard the other language for a time can understand one another.

The Caucasus Mountain region has been invaded many times throughout its history. This region is a strategic pathway, so through the centuries, the armies of the Persians, the Ottomans, and especially the Russians, have mowed them down.

Chechens living outside Chechnya are often the descendants of those who fled the 19th century Caucasus War, when Russia annexed their homeland, and the 1940s, when Soviet dictator Josef Stalin sent them to Kazakhstan. Others fled their homeland in the 1990s and 2000s when there was fighting between Russian troops and Chechen militias. There is a large Chechen diaspora that spans at least 17 countries, including Azerbaijan. There are very few Chechens in Azerbaijan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Chechens in Azerbaijan span a variety of occupations and income levels. Most grow grains, vegetables or fruit; others work in oil refineries or are stockbreeders, particularly of fine-fleeced sheep. Chechen women work outside of their homes each day. People fear them because there are infamous Chechen-based organized crime syndicates.

The core of Chechen society is the taip, a clan-like organization whose members descend from a common ancestor. Each taip is ruled by an assembly of elders with their own court. A network of taips reinforces their sense of being a nation.

The Chechen usually marry outside their own taips. They forbid marriage between blood relations within three generations. The bridegroom's family pays a dowry to the bride or her family as a guarantee against divorce. Traditionally, a Chechen wife may not eat with her husband or to speak to his relatives; her role is one of subordination.

This is ironic since Chechen society upholds egalitarianism. Their ideal is that their people would be free and equal like wolves. They have the wolf as a symbol of their people. A common Chechen greeting is, "Enter into freedom."Some Chechens were probably Christian by the eighth century, but Islam replaced it by the seventeenth century. Islamization was complete by the 19th century, and it is part of their identity, and a driving force for independence.

Chechens can be devout Muslims, often for nationalistic purposes.
What Are Their Beliefs?

The Chechens in Azerbaijan are Sunni Muslims or Sufis. Sufis have their own brotherhoods, and they have a mystical approach to the Islamic religion. About half of the Chechens are part of a Sufi brotherhood.

In recent decades, there have been fundamentalist versions of Sunni Islam coming into Chechen society, but they are more of a means towards nationalism than a spiritual force.

What Are Their Needs?

The Chechen diaspora needs to deal with the hurt and the bitterness etched into their psyche for centuries. Only a close relationship with Christ can make a difference in their wounded hearts.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to work in Chechen society, leading them away from bitterness and rage, and into the freedom of forgiveness and mercy.

Pray for a movement to Christ that will enrich the Chechen community both spiritually and economically.

Pray for an abundant blessing of Chechen families and communities as they embrace Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords.

Pray for spiritual openness to Jesus Christ. Currently, their faith is in religious institutions.

Pray for the Chechens in Azerbaijan to be blessed with an unstoppable movement to Christ.

Scripture Prayers for the Chechen in Azerbaijan.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  
Other PDF Profile

People Name General Chechen
People Name in Country Chechen
Pronunciation CHEH-chun
Alternate Names Nokhchi
Population this Country 5,400
Population all Countries 1,948,000
Total Countries 16
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 11317
ROP3 Code 102059
ROP25 Code 301690
ROP25 Name Chechen
Country Azerbaijan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Azerbaijan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Primary Religion: Islam (Sunni)
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
90.00 %
10.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Chechen (5,400 speakers)
Language Code che   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Ploskost
Dialect Code 8728   Global Recordings Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Chechen (5,400 speakers)
Language Code che   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Ploskost
Dialect Code 8728   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Chechen

Primary Language:  Chechen

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1986-2007)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2007)
Bible-Complete Yes  (2012)
FCBH NT ( Online
YouVersion NT ( Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Chechen Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app: Chechen YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible App: The Bible in Chechen Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App Android Bible App: Суьрташца долу Делан Йозанаш - Chechen Children's Bible Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Chechen YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App iOS Bible App: Делан Йозанаш (Scriptures in Chechen) Faith Comes by Hearing
Text / Printed Matter IBT, Russia - resources Institute for Bible Translation - Russia
Photo Source CharlesFred - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Map Source Temo Blumgardt - Wikimedia  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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