Northern Uzbek in Tajikistan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Uzbeks are descended from a mixture of mostly Turkic tribes that include some Mongolian and Iranian traits. The name Uzbek may mean "master of himself." Their love of freedom and a general restlessness often caused conflict with the waves of invaders who conquered the country over the centuries.

The first conqueror of this region, was Alexander the Great, whose army swept through central Asia in the fourth century. Arabs and Turks, followed by Genghis Khan and the Mongols, overran all of central Asia from the seventh to the fourteenth centuries. Not long after Tamerlane's conquest came the last and perhaps finest period of culture and learning to the Uzbek. Tamerlane's influence was followed by a long period of decline in the 1500s. By the time the Russians subdued the country between 1860 and the 1880s, Tajikistan had disintegrated into several warring principalities.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The majority of Uzbeks in Tajikistan live in the Laninabad region, the Gissar Valley, southern Tajikistan, around Shrtuz and Kolkhozabad, and the Kurgan Tube. Although most still follow traditional farming and nomadic shepherd lifestyles, many who migrated to the city have become merchants or skilled craftsmen. They are especially talented bazaar artisans, working with silver, gold, leather, and wood. They also make elaborate carpets.

Uzbek dwellers in urban areas generally prefer European style clothing, but traditional dress is still common. This includes a long turban cloth (sometimes as long as three meters or more); a slipover, long-tailed cotton shirt; baggy trousers with a wide waist and held with a drawstring; a colorful waistcoat or vest; and boots of various types. Village women wear a chadar (head shawl) made of white or colorful red and white cotton floral prints; baggy trousers with calf length shirts, or high yoked dresses with full skirts reaching almost to the ankles.

The traditional family unit is based on kinship ties. Marriage of children is most often a contractual arrangement that is sealed with a bride price and the bride then lives with the groom's family. Marriages are celebrated with feasting, competitions, and other rituals. Women continue to do much of the household work and handle many of the less skilled and manual jobs. They are often segregated from the men.

The most common houses are built of mud bricks and often have domed roofs. Another style is an oblong, rectangular hut with rooms leading off a long covered porch and located inside a walled compound. Most nomadic groups who follow the seasonal migration of their herds live in the distinctive central Asian yurt (a circular, portable tent). Today, crowded modern housing, especially in urban areas, prevents generations from living together and discourages large families. These factors, along with increased educational opportunities mean more Uzbek are finding work away from their home areas.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of the Uzbeks are Sunni Muslims. The others are Shi'ite Muslims or belong to various Sufi Muslim orders. The numerous holy places of pilgrimage in Tajikistan play a less significant role in the revival of Islam than in other central Asia areas where tribal structures are still strong.

Pre-Islamic shamanism (belief that there is an unseen world of many gods, demons, and ancestral spirits) survives in an Islamic form. Today the shaman (priest or medicine man) is a practicing Muslim who combines shamanistic trances with reciting Islamic prayers, fasts, and other Islamic practices.

What Are Their Needs?

The Jesus film and Christian broadcasts are available in Uzbeki. The New Testament has been translated into their native language.

Prayer Points

Ask God to grant wisdom and favor to missions agencies focusing on the Uzbeks.
Pray that the Lord will raise up long term workers to join the few who have already responded.
Pray for effectiveness of the Jesus film and Christian broadcasts among the Uzbeks.
Ask the Lord to create a hunger in the hearts of the Uzbeks to know Jesus Christ.
Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of Uzbek Muslims towards Christians.
Pray for God to raise up strong local churches among the Uzbeks.

Scripture Prayers for the Uzbek, Northern in Tajikistan.

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Uzbek, Northern
People Name in Country Uzbek, Northern
Natural Name Northern Uzbek
Pronunciation OOZ-bek
Alternate Names Northern Uzbek; Ouzbek; Ozbek; Usbaki; Uzbeki; Wuzibieke; उज़्बेक, नॉर्दर्न
Population this Country 1,216,000
Population all Countries 32,964,000
Total Countries 18
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 24
People ID 14039
ROP3 Code 107469
ROP25 Code 308519
ROP25 Name Uzbek
Country Tajikistan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 46  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Sughd and Khatlon regions; Regions of Republican Subordination.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Tajikistan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 46  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Sughd and Khatlon regions; Regions of Republican Subordination..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.13 %)
0.14 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
99.87 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Uzbek, Northern
Language Code uzn   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
Russian Tajik
Primary Language Uzbek, Northern
Language Code uzn   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
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  (2016-2017)
FCBH NT ( Online
YouVersion NT ( Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Uzbek, Northern Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Rock International: King of Glory Rock International
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General Walk with the Prophets and meet the Messiah Al Massira
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app direct APK download SIL
Mobile App Android Bible app: Uzbek, Northern YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Uzbek, Northern YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter IBT, Russia - resources Institute for Bible Translation - Russia
Text / Printed Matter Jesus Messiah comic book General / Other
Text / Printed Matter Tools for faith conversations Campus Crusade for Christ
Photo Source Fulvio Spada - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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