Akkin in Russia

Map Source:  People Group location: Web research. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Akkin
Country: Russia
10/40 Window: No
Population: 103,000
World Population: 103,000
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

Akkin have a strong self-identity, in spite of typically being buried in official census statistics as “Chechen.” To Chechens, Akkin are Akkin. To Russians, Akkin are Chechen. To Akkin, Akkin are Akkin. They speak a distinct dialect of the Chechen language and live among village/town clusters at the western edge of Dagestan surrounding the major city of Khasavyurt. The ancient home region of the Akkin was in extreme western Chechnya and eastern Ingushetia. In pre-Soviet history many Akkin migrated eastward toward the border region of Dagestan and Chechnya near Khasavyurt.
In 1944, accused with the Chechen of being Nazi collaborators, the Akkin were deported en masse to Central Asia by Stalin’s KGB. Thirteen years later, under Khrushchev, the Akkin were allowed to return but faced massive confusion with many Dagestani Laks and Avars already resettled into the old Akkin villages in western Dagestan. Turmoil and conflicts raged off and on over resettlement questions from the late 1950s into the early 21st Century. Eventually some Laks moved to other lowland regions; many Akkin finally settled into some of their original western Dagestani towns or nearby close to Khasavyurt.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Some Akkin also live in the original homeland region of extreme western Chechnya and eastern Ingushetia. Akkin refugees can be found in many asylum locations in Europe, along with other Chechen, Ingush and Dagestani refugees.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Akkin live along a transport corridor between Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan to the east, and Groznyy, the capital of Chechnya to the west. One “export” along this corridor is constant competition between factions of extremist Islamists. Traditionally, the Akkin practice Sufi Sunni Islam; but external, missional Salafist (Wahhabi) zealous Sunni radicals have attempted to stamp out Sufi practices of Islam throughout Dagestan. This internal religious conflict mixes in with an active radical Muslim insurgency against the traditional religious and political powers.

What Are Their Needs?

Constant conflict boils, even to the present moment. The Akkin are affected by this violent/zealous Islam, as young men get recruited and enticed (even extorted) toward participation with militants or drawn into battles fought in their neighborhoods.

Prayer Points

Pray for representatives of Jesus’ grace to be “the right people at the right time into the right relationships among the Akkin.”
Pray for Chechen believers to have courage to reach out to their Akkin “cousins.”
Pray for Caucasus house churches to notice opportunities for friendship and connections with their Akkin neighbors.
Pray for European Refugee ministries to have eyes and ears for Akkin people in their midst.
Pray for Akkin ‘people of peace’ (Luke 10:6), who are waiting for representatives of Jesus’ love and power to find what their hearts have been waiting for.
Pray for the long-distance influence of a family of five Akkin who are Jesus followers, but who live far from the Akkin region and from close relationships. Pray this mustard seed of influence might bear fruit back into the Akkin world.
Thank God for three churches who have “taken the Akkin into their hearts” (Phil.1:7) for long-term prayer until there is a Christ-following community among the Akkin. Pray for local Dagestani believers to join in these efforts.
The Akkin live in Dagestan, a land of war. Pray what Satan meant for evil (fighting), God will use for good to bring many people to humility and the saving work of Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project