Chulym Tatar in Russia

The Tatar, Chulym have only been reported in Russia
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Chulym have lived in the Chulym River Valley in South Central Asia since the late 1500s when their ancestors were forced out of Western Siberian Tatar territory. Once settled in the Chulym River Valley, they intermingled with other Turkic peoples and eventually become the group known as the Chulym or Chulym Tatar.

Because 1,200 miles of waterway separates the Chulym from other Siberian Tatar and they are now part of the Khakass tribal system, they have developed a distinct dialect of the Tatar language. Unlike some other groups, the Chulym population cannot be identified as a cohesive group either by their language or ethnic background. Some have been so completely assimilated into the surrounding Russian or Khakass populations that they no longer speak their own language. Many now speak Khakass or Russian. Although this may be tragic to their culture, it would allow them to understand Russian Scriptures.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Vast forests originally provided the Chulym with all they needed to live - animals for meat, furs, and hides, fish and cedar-pine nuts for other foods. However, in the 1760s, the Russian government began construction of the Moscow-Siberian highroad, which cut across the Chulym steppe. The new road opened the way for hundreds of thousands of Russians to pour into Chulym territory and establish their own claims on the land. The Russian settlers slashed and burned huge tracts of forest to create land for agriculture and villages.

The loss of the forests destroyed the Chulym's traditional way of life. Some retreated north into marshy woods, some hired out as laborers to the Russians, and others were forced to harvest the trees that had sustained them - trees that were now used as fuel for Russian steamships.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Although most Russian Tatar are classified as Sunni Muslim, the Chulym seem to be shamanists (they believe in an unseen world of gods and demons), a belief probably influenced by their close association with the Khakass people. At one time the shaman (priest or medicine man) was considered a healer, religious leader, and philosopher. Because the Chulym believed evil spirits captured sick people, the shaman performed elaborate rituals that included shaking a rattle to make noise and waving a kerchief to scare away the evil spirits. He (or she) also offered a propitiatory sacrifice of soup and a sheep as part of the belief that the shaman descended to the "underworld" to talk the evil spirits into letting the soul go. The shamanistic practices were always accompanied by a blood sacrifice. While neither Christianity nor Islam succeeded in ousting shamanism entirely, the practice seems to have disappeared in recent decades.

The Chulym were forcibly Christianized in about 1720 by Philophey, Metropolitan of Tobolsk, but this did not totally wipe out their traditional beliefs.

What Are Their Needs?

Russia has repeatedly exploited both the land and the people in this area. They have stripped the land of natural resources, trampled and misused the environment, and forcibly relocated the people. The government encourages parents to put their children in distant boarding schools, and many that leave do not return.

Conditions among the minority peoples in northern Russia are below the rest of the Russian population. Nuclear testing in this area has caused infant mortality to skyrocket. In some areas life expectancy is only 45 years. The Chulym do not have adequate health care, shelter, or transportation. They live on a subsistence diet of potatoes and bread, and lack safe drinking water. Telephones and electricity are scarce. Additional Christian tools and workers are needed.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Tatar, Chulym in Russia.

* Pray that Lord will send forth Christian medical teams and health care workers to live among the Chulym of Russia.
* Ask God to grant wisdom and favor to missions agencies ministering to the Chulym.
* Pray that Russian Bibles will be placed in the hands of the Chulym who understand the Russian language.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth a strong and growing Chulym church for the glory of His name!

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-03-20
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-03-13
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-03-09
People Name General Tatar, Chulym
People Name in Country Tatar, Chulym
Natural Name Chulym Tatar
Pronunciation Tah-tar
Population this Country 400
Population all Countries 400
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Melets Tatar
People ID 11380
ROP3 Code 102214
Country Russia
Region Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Teguldetsky region of the Tomsk Oblast, and the Tyukhtetsky region of the Krasnoyarsk Krai. They live in two villages called Pasechnoy and Chindat, both on the Chulym river.   Source:  Field worker
Country Russia
Region Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Teguldetsky region of the Tomsk Oblast, and the Tyukhtetsky region of the Krasnoyarsk Krai. They live in two villages called Pasechnoy and Chindat, both on the Chulym river..   Source:  Field worker
Primary Language Russian
Language Code rus   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
Primary Language Russian
Language Code rus   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
People Groups Speaking Russian

Primary Language:  Russian

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1815-1993)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1821-1991)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1680-2016)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (Global Recordings Network)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament - Central Asian (Faith Comes By Hearing)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament - Holy Synod (Faith Comes By Hearing)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Father's Love Letter
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Russian
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Rivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
General Four Spiritual Laws
General General Ministry Resources
General Gospel resources links (Scripture Earth)
General Got Questions Ministry
General Open-licensed Bible stories on mobile app
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
100.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Other Christian
Roman Catholic
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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