Meskhetian Turk in United States

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

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Introduction / History

The Meskhetian Turks originated in Georgia on the border with Turkey. They are named after a province called Meskheti. Turkic tribes have lived in Meskheti for hundreds of years. During the rule of Soviet Dictator Josef Stalin the Meskhetian Turks were spread out throughout Central Asia. The Soviet dictator questioned their loyalty to his regime. Most Meskhetian remain in these Central Asian nations, though some are in Turkey. They once had highly productive farms, but these were lost when they were moved during WWII. They are still feeling the effects from that time. Today they are spread throughout several of the former Soviet republics of Georgia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. A small number of them reside in Turkey. Those who were settled in Uzbekistan faced violent persecution in 1989. Many had to once again re-settle in either the United States or Azerbaijan.

Meskhetian Turks often self-identify as "Ahiska Turks".

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Meskhetian Turks highly value social cohesiveness. They are hoping for a cultural rebirth. The Meskhetian feel a strong need to become united with one another, though that is very difficult given the fact they are scattered throughout Central Asia and the USA. The Meskhetian in Central Asia have often been banned from living in cities, and few have ever been part of an intellectual community. This is a rural people known as excellent farmers. Though they are accepted in Azerbaijan, they face a shortage of housing and work. The Meskhetian who have come to the USA have faced huge changes to their traditional lifestyle. They now live in American cities like New York or Los Angeles. The Meskhetian men have taken almost any job that will put food on the table for their families. As they are learning English and becoming accustomed to American ways, the Meskhetian are raising their standard of living and encouraging their children to pursue higher education.

Lack of prayer and lack of obedience to the command of Christ to preach the good news to all creation continue to slow the advance of the gospel among Muslim Meskhetian Turks in Kazakhstan and elsewhere.
What Are Their Beliefs?

The Meskhetian Turks are Sunni Muslims with a small minority of Shia Muslims among them. They perform Muslim rituals, but also have their own pre-Islamic practices which involve superstitions, sorcery and magic. Some wear amulets and talismans which they believe will protect them. The Meskhetian try to obey the teachings of the Koran and the prophet Mohammad. They 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, and slandering. 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. There are currently no known believers in Christ among the Meskhetian.

What Are Their Needs?

The Meskhetian in the USA need help getting their physical needs met. They must learn English and new job skills. Their children must adapt to American schools. Most of all the Meskhetian must hear and respond to the gospel of Isa or Jesus. He much more that an Islamic prophet. He is the Savior and Lord of the Meskhetian.

Prayer Points

Pray that God would give new spiritual awareness to the Meskhetian Turks in all of the places they call home. Pray that new relationships will begin between them and God's people. Pray that churches and agencies will be intentional about reaching Meskhetian Turks in the USA for Christ. Pray for a Disciple Making Movement among the Meskhetian Turks in the USA in this decade.

Scripture Prayers for the Turk, Meskhetian in United States.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  
Other PDF Profile

People Name General Turk, Meskhetian
People Name in Country Turk, Meskhetian
Natural Name Meskhetian Turk
Pronunciation mes-KEH-tee-un turk
Alternate Names Ahiska Turks
Population this Country 16,000
Population all Countries 307,000
Total Countries 9
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 20631
ROP3 Code 115687
Country United States
Region America, North and Caribbean
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country United States
Region America, North and Caribbean
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked

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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language English (16,000 speakers)
Language Code eng   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language English (16,000 speakers)
Language Code eng   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking English

Primary Language:  English

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1530-1995)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1380-2011)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1382-2020)
Bible-NT Audio 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 Online Audio Scripture Talking Bibles
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories Story Runners
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in English 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 Rivka video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Hope Video Mars Hill Media
Film / Video Walking with Jesus video Jesus Film Project
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text, audio, video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Four Spiritual Laws Campus Crusade for Christ
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
General Zume Resources Zume Project
General Zume Training Zume Project
Mobile App Android Bible app: English YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App Download audio Bible app from Google Play Store Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App iOS Bible app: English YouVersion Bibles
Photo Source Cem Ahiska - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.