Karelian in Ukraine

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Karelian language is similar to Finnish. It was Scandinavian sources that first mentioned the Karelians. They were such a menace to the Vikings in the 600s that the Swedes founded Stockholm for protection from Karelian raids. Russian sources did not mention them till 1143.
There were efforts by both Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics to Christianized them in the 1100s-1200s, but these failed. They finally became Orthodox in the 1600s, but they were often caught between the Russians who wanted them Orthodox and the Swedes who wanted them Protestant.
Most live either in Russia or Finland, but smaller numbers live in Belarus, Ukraine or Kazakhstan. They are least reached with the gospel in Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Karelians in Russia are becoming Russified. They are in the process of losing their language and culture. In Ukraine they retain their language, though they also speak the trade language.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Karelians are Christian, but like many people in Europe and Russia, they often have a secular worldview. Many do not accept the Bible as God’s final word or believe Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. They have varied ideas about the afterlife, many of which conflict with the Bible.

What Are Their Needs?

Karelians need a Christ-centered theology and a willingness to accept his lordship.

Prayer Points

Pray for Karelian families to be abundantly blessed by the Lord, leading others to find hope in Jesus Christ.
Pray for Karelian disciples who will make more disciples who will make even more disciples.
Pray that soon there will be Karelian workers who will take the name of Christ to others.

Scripture Prayers for the Karelian in Ukraine.



Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Karelian
People Name in Country Karelian
Alternate Names Norgorod
Population this Country 1,200
Population all Countries 46,000
Total Countries 5
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 3
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 12537
ROP3 Code 104657
ROP25 Code 303731
ROP25 Name Karelian
Country Ukraine
Region Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Ukraine
Region Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked

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Primary Religion: Christianity
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.50 %)
69.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
31.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Karelian (1,200 speakers)
Language Code krl   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Karelian (1,200 speakers)
Language Code krl   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Karelian

Primary Language:  Karelian

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1820-2010)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2011)
Bible-Complete No
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Karelian Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Photo Source Anonymous 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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