The Tatar language is Turkic in origin. There are about 7 million Tartars living throughout the Russian federation and several surrounding countries (Tatarstan, Siberia, the Caucasus and Central Asia). About 900,000 live in the Moscow area. Because of their extensive movements and intermarriage with other peoples, the Tatars have varied physical features from Mongoloid to Caucasian, blond hair to black. The majority of Tatars are Sunni Muslims. Several Tatar tribes (e.g. the Nagajbaken and the Krjaschenen) were Christianized into Russian Orthodoxy between the 16th and 18th centuries, but truly devoted believers number far less than one percent of all Tartars.
This Republic of the Russian Federation is somewhat smaller than Scotland (67,836 km sq) and is situated about 900 km east of Moscow. It has a population of about four million people, made up of Tatars (52.9%), Russians (39.5%) Chuvashes (about 3%) and other ethnic groups (5%).
In the last 15 years there has been a significant surge of Islam in Tatarstan, though the majority of the Tatar population remains nominally or culturally Muslim. In 1990 there were about 100 mosques in the entire Republic, and by 2004 there were over 1000. There are only 176 Russian Orthodox churches in Tatarstan and small numbers of Catholic, Evangelical, Pentecostal, or Charismatic churches. While the evangelicals among Tatar background believers are starting to number in the hundreds and possibly thousands, there are still millions of Tatars with no profound or saving knowledge of the gospel.
Pray that the Gospel would be preached to the following cities in Tatarstan. The Tatar inhabitants in these cities need to discover the Gospel through films, recordings, websites, the Bible, and Christian literature. Pray for new, healthy, strong, and multiplying churches throughout Tatarstan:
Kazan or (Qazan in Tartar):
Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan with a population of about 1,150,000. Slightly over half of the city is of Russian origin, and about 43% are from a Tartar background. Kazan was formerly the capital of the powerful Khanate of Kazan until Ivan the Terrible conquered it in 1552. The largest port on the Volga River, it is a major industrial and commercial center and the most important center of Tatar culture. The city celebrated its 1000- year history in 2005. The ceremonies included the dedication of the Kul Sharif mosque, one of the largest and most beautiful in Europe.
With a predominately Muslim population of 600,000 people, Naberezhnye Chelny is the second largest city in Tatarstan. It is located on the Kama River, approximately 1,100 kilometers east of Moscow. The local economy is heavily dependent upon oil and gas exploration and production. The area also has very significant water, timber, and agricultural resources, but the standard of living is low.
Prayer guide for the Tatar peoples and Tatarstan:
Pray for the following cities in Tatarstan that the Gospel would be fully preached to all. The Tatar inhabitants in these cities need to discover the Gospel through films, recordings, websites, Bible and Christian literature. Pray for much needed new healthy, strong and multiplying churches throughout Tatarstan.
Other Cities include:
- Nizhnekamsk 225,399
- Almetyevsk 140,000
- Yelabuga 67,500
- Leninogorsk 65,600
- Zelenodolsk 100,000
Background on Tatarstan (Wikipedia)
As of 2004, there were 1,208 buildings used for religious purposes in Tatarstan; 1,014 of which were Islamic, and 176 Russian Orthodox. The Republic of Tatarstan is a constituent republic of the Russian Federation. Most of the Russian federal subjects are tied with the Russian federal government by the uniform Federal Treaty, but relations between the government of Tatarstan and the Russian federal government are more complex, and are precisely defined in the Tatarstan Constitution of 2000.
The Economy of Tatarstan
Tatarstan is one of the most economically developed federal subjects of Russia; it is also the second most industrialized federal subject after Samara Oblast. Industrial production constitutes 45% of the Republic’s gross regional domestic product. The most developed branches are chemical and oil processing, machine building, and wood processing industries.
Population: 3,779,265 (2002 est.)
Ethnic groups: Tatars (52.9%), Russians (39.5%), Chuvashes (about 3%)
Religions: Sunni Muslim, Russian Orthodox
Languages: Tatar and Russian
Video: Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia – Privolzhsky Market
Part of a market in Kazan – Privolzhsky that has large covered market area, lines of small shopkeepers, and tents of private sellers