Sarakatsani, Karakachan in Greece

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People Name: Sarakatsani, Karakachan
Country: Greece
10/40 Window: No
Population: 6,500
World Population: 8,800
Primary Language: Greek
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 93.00 %
Evangelicals: 1.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Greek
Affinity Bloc: Eurasian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Karakachan Sarakatsani name comes from two words: one means “black” referring to their clothes, and the other refers to “fugitives.” That name came from the Ottomans who described a people who fled from their control wearing black attire.
Some believe the Karakachan Sarakatsani have the Dorians as their ancestors. The Dorians were one of the four major ethnic groups during the days of Ancient Greece. Others believe their ancestors were peasants who lived in the lowlands or mountain nomads. Today their lifestyle reflects both of these latter groups.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Some Karakachan Sarakatsani are sheep herders who live in lower elevations during the winter but bring their sheep to higher grounds to find grasslands in the summer. Most now live in towns and cities where they speak modern Greek and live like all other people. As they become increasingly assimilated, there is an effort to preserve their language, poetry, music and folk dances.
They will only marry someone outside their kin group. Marriages are arranged by the parents, and they have a male-dominated patrilineal descent system. Men must protect the honor of their family. That means they must regulate the behavior of their family so there is no negative public opinion of the family.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Almost all Karakachan Sarakatsani people are Greek Orthodox. They enjoy celebrating feast days, especially the Feast of St. George. Like other Christians, they celebrate Christmas and Easter week.

What Are Their Needs?

The Karakachan Sarakatsani people need to put their hope and faith in Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to raise up Karakachan Sarakatsani Christ followers who will disciple others to make more disciples.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to move mightily in the Greek Orthodox Church this century, purifying it and bringing into full submission to Christ.
Pray for the Lord to bless the work of their hands as a testimony of his power and love. May they respond with devotion and unending praise!

Text Source:   Joshua Project