Evenki in Russia

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Charles Luan - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
People Name: Evenki
Country: Russia
10/40 Window: No
Population: 39,000
World Population: 74,000
Primary Language: Evenki
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 5.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.18 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Altaic
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The world believes the Evenki were originally tribes or clans in Russia who migrated into China at different times 300 to 400 years ago. The forefathers of the Evenki lived in the forests north and east of Lake Baikal in Siberia and along the upper reaches of the Heilong River. They maintained a close relationship with the Northern Shiweis during the Northern Wei Dynasty (AD 386-534) and the Ju tribe at the time of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). In the mid-1600s, aggression by Tsarist Russia resulted in the Evenkis moving to the area around the tributaries of Mongolia’s Nenjiang River in the Hinggan Mountains.
A small number of Evenki people still speak their language. One scholar describes the language as "endangered in China and possibly extinct in Mongolia and Russia." This people group lives in each of these three countries as well as Russia.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Tungus Evenki live in nimor, or clans, which are groups of three to ten blood families. Some Tungus Ewenki live deep within the forests. Others have chosen to live on the grasslands where they have been influenced by Mongolian culture.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Many of the Tungus Evenki, who have experienced prolonged interaction with Mongolians, have converted to Tibetan Buddhism. The remainder practice shamanism, an ancient form of witchcraft and spiritism. Tungus Evenki believers belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, because of the profound influence of shamanism, they worship the statue of Jesus and other idols together. Priests of the Eastern Orthodox Church also participate in the religious activities of the Evenkis.

What Are Their Needs?

The Evenki need workers to go to them to share the gospel in their Evenki language and to help disciple existing Christians.

Prayer Points

Pray for workers to go to the Evenki to share the gospel in their language and help disciple existing Christians.
Pray for the Bible and other resources to be translated into the Evenki language.
Pray for Evenki Church to be freed from shamanism and other false influences.
Pray for the establishment of a viable, indigenous and reproducing Evenki church in Russia, China and Mongolia.

Text Source:   Joshua Project