Abkhaz in Syria

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

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Introduction / History

In the 1860s the Russian Empire took over Abkhazia, a small region on the southeastern coast of the Black Sea. Many Muslim Abkhazians fled persecution by the Russians and settled at different locations in the Ottoman Empire. Some Abkhaz made their homes in the area that is currently within the nation of Syria. Up until Russian takeover of 2008, Abkhazia was a province in the nation of Georgia. Now Abkhazia is in quasi-union with Russia. Since March 2011 a civil war has been occurring in Syria. The government under Assad has been fighting the rebels who oppose the Assad Baathist regime. The United Nations estimates that at least 500,000 people have died in the fighting. Another five million people have fled Syria because of the war and 6.7 million more Syrians have been internally displaced. Due to the civil war and refugee crisis, it is impossible to estimate how many Abkhaz now live in Syria. Some have returned to the native land of Abkhazia. Many others have gone to Turkey and Europe.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Before 2011 Abkhaz made their living in Syria in much the same way they did in Abkhazia. They raised cattle, grew grapes for wine, produced honey and farmed the land. Their crops included grains, fruit and vegetables. The Syrian War has changed all aspects of the Abkhaz life. The strife and violence have completely disrupted their lives. With little prospects of a quick end to the war in Syria many Abkhaz are leaving Syria just as they once fled the Russian Empire.

Overt Christian witnessing is not encouraged and is very dangerous.
What Are Their Beliefs?

The large majority of the Abkhaz in Syria are Muslim. A small fraction is Eastern Orthodox Christian. Muslims 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. Muslims 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, slandering, and making idols.

What Are Their Needs?

The Abkhaz in Syria need a stable society to raise their children and to work. Refugee Abkhazians need shelter, food, clean water, jobs and schools for their children. Most of all the Muslim Abkhaz must understand that Jesus or Isa is much more than a human prophet. He is the Son of God and the Lord and Savior of the world. Only He can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life.

Prayer Points

Pray for a swift and just end to the war in Syria. Pray that Abkhaz parents would be able to meet the basic needs of their children. Pray that Christian agencies would be able to help the refugee Abkhaz and tell them the good news about Jesus. Pray the Lord raises up a Disciple Making Movement among the Abkhaz of Syrian in this decade.

Scripture Prayers for the Abkhaz in Syria.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abkhazians  https://www.britannica.com/topic/Abkhaz  https://minorityrights.org/minorities/abkhaz/ 

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  
Other PDF Profile

People Name General Abkhaz
People Name in Country Abkhaz
Pronunciation AHB-kahz
Alternate Names Abkhazian; Abxazo; Abzhui; Apswa; Bzyb; Ubyx
Population this Country 6,800
Population all Countries 190,000
Total Countries 6
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 10130
ROP3 Code 100018
ROP25 Code 300015
ROP25 Name Abkhaz
Country Syria
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 12  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Syria
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 12  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)

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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.00 %)
4.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
96.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Abkhaz (6,800 speakers)
Language Code abk   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Abkhaz (6,800 speakers)
Language Code abk   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Abkhaz

Primary Language:  Abkhaz

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1912-1981)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2015)
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Film / Video Jesus Film: View in Abkhaz Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Photo Source Apsuwara - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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