Introduction / History
The Crimean Tatars are descendants of the Mongols who swept through eastern Europe in the thirteenth century. They are part of a much greater Tatar population but speak a different language and live in different areas. Large numbers of Crimean Tatars can be found in Turkey, Romania, Uzbekistan, and the Ukraine.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Crimean Tatar history has been both complex and turbulent. For many years they endured hardship, oppression, and injustice. By the end of the 1440s, the Crimean Khanate was established on the Crimean Peninsula. However, Russian rule over them came late in the eighteenth century. When the Russian Empire gave way to the communists between 1917-20, Crimea was the last strongholds of the anti-Bolshevik (communist) forces. Soviet collectivization was especially harsh for the Crimean Tatars, and tens of thousands died because of it. In 1944, Stalin accused the entire Crimean Tatar population of collaborating with the Nazis and had them deported to Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. Sadly, almost half of them died in the ordeal. A small number still live in Kyrgyzstan.
Since the Tatars' massive deportation in 1944, much of their traditional Crimean lifestyle has been lost. They have undergone an intense process of assimilation into other cultures. The older people have maintained a strong sense of ethnic identity. However, it has been extremely difficult for them to pass that identity on to their children.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Family ties are very important to the Crimean Tatars. The size of the immediate family ranges from four to five members. However, two or three generations will often live in the same house. The great majority of the Crimean Tatars marry within their culture, unlike some of their Tatar cousins. The family is strongly patriarchal (dominated by the men). The line of descent is through the father and inheritance is passed down through the males. Work is divided along traditional lines with men working outside and women tending to the children and the household duties.
All Crimean Tatars, in Kyrgyzstan or elsewhere, are Sunni Muslims. As far as we know there are not yet any disciples of Christ found among them in Kyrgyzstan. The Tatars in Kyrgyzstan are far from Christ, just as they are far from their homeland.
What Are Their Needs?
The Crimean Tatars need justice and mercy in their lives. They also need to find their way to Jesus Christ who can give them an identity in Him that will help them find abundant life.
Pray for the Crimean Tatars to receive justice and mercy so that their needs will be met.
Pray for the Lord to reveal Himself to Crimean Tatars who are willing to seek and find the only Savior.
Pray for Holy Spirit-driven workers to go to the Crimean Tatars in Kyrgyzstan.
Pray for a movement to Christ among the Crimean Tatars.
Scripture Prayers for the Tatar, Crimean in Kyrgyzstan.