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 Ukraine.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The first Crimean Tatars to arrive in Romania did so in the 900s. They came as settlers, but others came 300 years later as conquerors, part of the Golden Horde. They crossed the Danube Delta, conquering and destroying. About 100 years later the Golden Horde was losing it's power as it was being replaced by the Ottoman Empire. There were waves of Crimean Tatars settling in Dobruja, a region that straddles modern Romania and Bulgaria. This is the same region where more Crimean Tatars fled when the Soviet Union exiled them in 1944. Today more Crimean Tatars are in Romania than Russia, and Dobruja is the center of their community.
Crimean Tatars 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 in Romania. They still speak Crimean Tatar, but Romanian is the trade language.
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 are Sunni Muslims. There are not yet any disciples of Christ found among them in Romania.
What Are Their Needs?
The Crimean Tatars need to find their way to Jesus Christ who can give them an identity in Him that will help them have abundant life. There are believers in Romania who can lead them to the cross.
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 Romania.
Pray for a movement to Christ among the Crimean Tatars.
Scripture Prayers for the Tatar, Crimean in Romania.