Chechen in Germany

Map Source:  People Group location: Meduza and Al Jazeera News. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Chechen
Country: Germany
10/40 Window: No
Population: 12,000
World Population: 1,948,100
Primary Language: Chechen
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Caucasus
Affinity Bloc: Eurasian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Chechens lived in remote valleys of the Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. They are a strong, determined people with a long history of fighting for their independence. For years the Chechens had based land tenure upon joint-clan ownership. When the Soviets introduced the idea of property ownership by society rather than by clan, the Chechens fiercely opposed it. When World War II broke out, most Chechens opposed the Germans and fought alongside the Red Army. Despite this, in 1944 many of the Chechens and their neighbors, the Ingush, were deported to central Asia. They were allowed to return after 1968.

On October 27, 1991, the Chechen Republic declared its independence. Since then, Russian troops have invaded Chechnya to regain control, and as a result much of the region lies in ruins. Those who can have left for safer places like Germany.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The core of Chechen society is the taip, a clan-like organization whose members descend from a common ancestor. An assembly of elders, with their own court, rule each taip. When Chechens live in other parts of the world this organizational structure is naturally weakened by the new situation. Most Chechens who go to Germany first go through Poland or Belarus. The first Chechens began to arrive in Germany in the 1990s when Chechnya was being destroyed by the Russian Army, but they are still getting acculturated in Germany. Some of the Chechens are doing what they can to help others learn to deal with their new situation. Most try to learn German and prepare for their new lives.

Those who speak out against the oppressive government in Chechnya put family members at risk in the old country. Chechens in Germany are known to do just about anything to avoid being deported. They face cultural problems in Germany. It’s considered a disgrace for a Chechen man to not be in control of situations, so they are sometimes at odds with German schools, etc. News reports of Chechen hitmen killing other Chechens in Germany cause Germans to wonder if they should allow these Muslims to stay in their country.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Ruins of church buildings indicate that at least some Chechens had converted to Christianity by the eighth century. During the 16th century Islam was introduced by other peoples who settled among the Chechens. By the late 17th century all remaining ties to Christianity had disappeared from this region. Chechens can be devout Muslims, often for nationalistic purposes. They often associate Islam with their fight against outsiders. Chechens can be devout Muslims, often for nationalistic purposes.

What Are Their Needs?

Chechens live as a despised people, but God does not see them that way. He has a future and a hope for them. He longs for them to know a peace that can only come through the gospel of Christ.

Prayer Points

Pray that the day will come when Chechens declare independence from Islam and dependence on the Savior who loves and accepts them. Ask for believers in Germany to have a burden to come alongside Chechens to see them accept the blessings of Jesus Christ. Pray that God will establish missionaries among them in Germany who are committed to the needs of their families and clans. Pray for believers to be Christ's hands and feet by helping Chechens in Germany to improve their lives. Pray for Chechens in Germany to find the dignity of becoming part of Lord Jesus' loving family.

Text Source:   Joshua Project