Shorian Tatar in Kazakhstan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Shorian Tatars are an indigenous Turkic people who live in southwestern Siberia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The Mongols conquered central Asia in the 13th century. The Tatar people adopted many aspects of the Mongol culture. A century later Islam came to the Tartars and most of them converted. The Russian Empire took over southwestern Siberia in the late 16th century. The Shors were forced to pay a tax in animal furs. Until that time the Shors' ability to smelt iron and make iron tools made them valuable to the Mongols. The European Russians came into the area with their better techniques of producing iron. The Shorians went back to fishing, hunting and trapping as their chief means of making a living. In the 19th century, Russians tried to force the Shorians to become Christians. Some left Russia and migrated to the more Muslim friendly area of what is now called Kazakhstan. A small number of Shorian Tatars live in Kazakhstan today.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Since the 1990s the Shorian Tatars have seen a revival of their culture. They were free again to speak their language, consult their shamans, elect their tribal chiefs and engage in Muslim rituals. The land of the Shorian Tatars is rich with iron ore, coal and gold. Unfortunately, the mining has brought industrial scale pollution to the land, rivers and air. The Shorians have not reaped the benefits of their land's resources. Some still work as in miners but the mines are owned by others. Many Shorians have become "Russified." Many speak Russian and no longer know or speak the Shorian language. Outside of the urban areas many Shorians retain their language and many parts of their traditional ways. On feast days they recite epic Tatar poems, dance and sing songs about their gods and heroes. Villages elect their chief and make judicial decisions. Throat singing is an ancient musical practice. Shorians tend to marry within their group. They sometimes marry within other Tatar peoples. The bride then joins the clan of her husband.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Tatar claim to be Sunni Muslims. However, their brand of Islam is heavily influenced by folk religion. A devout Saudi or Egyptian Muslim would see the Tatars as more pagan than Muslim. The Shorians have their own creation myths that they believed before becoming nominal Muslims. The mixture of beliefs continues today. During the time of the Russian Empire some Shorians were forced to convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity. This action has left a bad feeling towards Christianity as a religion for ethnic Russians, not themselves.

What Are Their Needs?

The Shorians need to hear a clear presentation of the good news about Jesus Christ. Isa or Jesus is more than a human prophet. The Shorians would benefit by learning new job skills so they can improve their place in society. The Shorians would appreciate anyone coming to them who values their language and culture.

Prayer Points

Pray the New Testament would be translated into the Shorian Tartar language. Pray for a hunger for spiritual truth come to the Shorian leaders and heads of households. Pray the Lord sends workers to the Shorian Tartars in Kazakhstan to tell them about the Lord and His grace. Ask the Lord to raise up a Disciple Making Movement among the Shorian Tartars of Kazakhstan in this decade.

Scripture Prayers for the Tatar, Shorian in Kazakhstan.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Tatar, Shorian
People Name in Country Tatar, Shorian
Natural Name Shorian Tatar
Pronunciation SHOR-ee-un tah-TAR
Alternate Names Kuznets Tatar; Shoretses
Population this Country 300
Population all Countries 12,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 2
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 14918
ROP3 Code 108961
ROP25 Code 307478
ROP25 Name Shorian
Country Kazakhstan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 47  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Kazakhstan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 47  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 2.00 %)
30.00 %
Ethnic Religions
70.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Shor (300 speakers)
Language Code cjs   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Shor (300 speakers)
Language Code cjs   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Shor

Primary Language:  Shor

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2004-2022)
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
FCBH NT ( Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
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 Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Text / Printed Matter IBT, Russia - resources Institute for Bible Translation - Russia
Photo Source Anonymous 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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