Northern Uzbeks in Sweden

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Uzbeks are a Turkic people group located primarily in Uzbekistan in Central Asia. There are large Uzbek communities in Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, as well as small communities in many other nations, including Sweden. Muslim Arab armies conquered Central Asia in the eighth century. Many of the Uzbek men converted to Islam and joined the Muslim armies. The Mongols invaded and took over Central Asia in 1225. Uzbekistan declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Many Uzbeks have left their homeland looking for better economic opportunities in the West.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Sweden has a developed economy and one of the highest living standards of the world. Health care and university education is funded by the government. The main sources of income are timber, iron ore, automobiles, hydropower, arms sales, and telecommunications. In their homeland, the Uzbeks led a semi-nomadic life taking care of their animals. Much of the land was unsuitable for agriculture due to the lack of rain. Most Uzbeks in Sweden live in the urban areas. They frequently take low paying jobs that the Swedish citizens distain such as jobs in sanitation, construction, factories, restaurants, and as taxi drivers. As the Uzbek population benefits from Sweden’s free educational system, Uzbeks are gaining jobs which require more skills. Upon arrival in Sweden, the Uzbeks must get a place to live, learn the Swedish language and put their children in schools. Becoming fluent in Swedish and becoming accustomed to the new Western culture may take years. The Uzbek people face a challenge in fitting into a modern European society and at the same time, retaining their Uzbek culture, religion and language. They speak Uzbek at home and Swedish on the job and with their neighbors. In traditional Uzbek families, the parents chose the spouse of their children. This pattern of behavior will change as Uzbek young people are educated in Swedish schools and culture. Swedish citizens normally have fewer children than the Muslims coming into the country. In Uzbek culture the more sons a father and mother have, the more they are blessed by Allah.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of Uzbeks living in Sweden are Sunni Muslims. In Central Asia, the Islam of the Uzbeks is mixed with folk religion, a belief in spirits inhabiting the objects of nature. Uzbeks try to obey the teachings of the Koran and the prophet Mohammad. Sunnis believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. However, Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, using deceit, slandering, and making idols. For many younger Uzbeks their Islam has become more cultural than religious. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah. Many Uzbeks also celebrate the Christian holidays of Sweden. There are currently few if any known followers of Christ among the Uzbeks of Sweden.

What Are Their Needs?

The Uzbeks living in Sweden must come to understand that neither Islam nor material wealth will gain them the joy and peace of mind they seek. Jesus or Isa is much more than a prophet as He is described in the Koran. Only Jesus can forgive their sins and give them eternal life. Newly arrived Uzbeks need help in learning Swedish, finding housing and employment and getting their children in schools.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Uzbek, Northern in Sweden.

* Pray that the Holy Spirit will soften the hearts of Uzbek Muslims towards Christians. * Ask God to grant wisdom and favor to churches and mission agencies focusing on the Uzbeks. * Ask the Lord to send additional long term laborers to live among the Uzbeks in Sweden and share the love of Christ with them. * Pray for effectiveness of the JESUS Film and Christian radio broadcasts that are being aired in the Uzbeks’ language. * Pray for God to raise up Disciple Making Movement among the Uzbeks in Sweden in this decade.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Uzbek, Northern
People Name in Country Uzbek, Northern
Pronunciation OOZ-bek
Natural Name Northern Uzbeks
Natural Pronunciation OOZ-beks
Population this Country 3,000
Population all Countries 30,964,000
Total Countries 19
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Northern Uzbek; Ouzbek; Ozbek; Usbaki; Uzbeki; Wuzibieke; उज़्बेक, नॉर्दर्न
People ID 14039
ROP3 Code 107469
Country Sweden
Region Europe, Western
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Sweden
Region Europe, Western
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked

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Primary Language Uzbek, Northern (3,000 speakers)
Language Code uzn   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Uzbek, Northern (3,000 speakers)
Language Code uzn   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Uzbek, Northern

Primary Language:  Uzbek, Northern

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1891-1992)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1992-2010)
Bible-Complete Yes  (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 (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Uzbek, Northern
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video More Than Dreams-Mohammed
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
Film / Video The Tomb of Daniel
General Got Questions Ministry
Mobile App Download Audio Bible app as APK File from FCBH
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Oʻzbekcha (Ўзбекча) - Uzbek
Text / Printed Matter Jesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
86.00 %
14.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Other Christian
Roman Catholic
Photo Source Fulvio Spada  Creative Commons  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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