Kamchadal in Russia

Kamchadal
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People Name: Kamchadal
Country: Russia
10/40 Window: No
Population: 1,900
World Population: 1,900
Primary Language: Russian
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 4.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.90 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Ural-Siberian
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

In 1875 Russia handed over the disputed Kuril Islands to Japan. Eighty-three Ainu people wanted to remain under Russian authority. They left the Kurils and came to live in the Kamchatka Peninsula. These Ainu settled in the town of Yavin. The Ainu married native Siberians and Russians. The mixture of these three peoples are the Kamchadals of today. They speak Russian mixed with many words of the local Siberian dialects. During Soviet times, the Kamchadals were forced to leave the isolated Yavin village and live in other more populated Russian areas on the peninsula. After the fall of the Soviet Union, some Kamchadals have returned to Yavin, their original home.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Kamchadals make their living fishing, hunting, raising dairy cattle, and growing vegetables in the short Siberian summers. They live in Russian houses and follow the customs of the Russians on the Kamchatka Peninsula. The annual salmon run provides much of their income. The fish are dried or frozen and sold to others. The Kamchadals sell the salmon and furs for things they are unable to make for themselves like snowmobiles, gasoline, tools, cell phones, and appliances. Some Kamchadal young people are leaving the frigid, hard life of the Kamchatka Peninsula to go to warmers areas of Russia looking for better economic and educational opportunities.

What Are Their Beliefs?

According to Wikipedia most Kamchadals practice Russian Orthodox Christianity. According to the Joshua Project information, most Kamchadals are animists with only a small number of Christians. We can safely say that most Kamchadals mix Christian beliefs with the folk religion of the native Siberian peoples. Animists believe that spirits inhabit the objects of nature such as the rivers, tree, rocks, mountains, sky, and animals. The village shaman connects the people with the spirit world. He or she offers charms, prayers and rituals that will appease the spirits and prevent disasters caused by the spirits.

What Are Their Needs?

The Kamchadals need to understand that Christianity and folk religion are not compatible. The one, true God of the Bible strictly forbids serving other gods and spirits. The Kamchadals need to have someone teach them and help them apply the principles of the Word of God.

Prayer Points

Pray that workers go to the Kamchadals and teach them the Bible. Pray that the Kamchadals would leave their folk religion and turn to the one, true God. Pray the Lord raises up a Disciple Making Movement among the Kamchadals in this decade. Ask the Holy Spirit to get the Kamchadals into the Word and the Word into them.

Text Source:   Joshua Project