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Peoples of the Caucasus: The Fear of the Fearless
May 17, 2018
The beautiful mountain region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea partly belongs to Europe. Nevertheless, some of the least reached Muslim people groups live here. They speak 45 different languages, some of which are among the most complex in the world. The isolation of the mountains has helped keep age-old traditions such as blood vengeance alive to this day. The people mistrust all strangers and resist any change. The cultural and political situation makes it extremely difficult for foreigners to live in the region and serve Christ.
If asked what they are afraid of, the average Caucasian may say “Nothing.” However, in an honest moment, they may mention three distinct things, all deeply tied to cultural symbols:
1. Fear of losing one’s honor: The Caucasian dagger is always at hand to defend one’s own or the family’s honor. This is one reason for the frequency of conflict and violence seen in Caucasian culture.
2. Fear of evil spirits: Caucasians are afraid of being cursed by other people or haunted by djinns (spiritual beings). To keep spirits from finding the entrance to their homes, they hang a teapot upside down over their front door.
3. Fear of being expelled from the Umma (the Muslim community): Just as a single thread in one of the many beautiful carpets woven here is nothing on its own, the individual is negligible in comparison with the community as a whole. That’s why it is devastating to be barred from the Umma.
Pray for them
- The fear of shame leads to violence—and suffering. Pray for transformation in this cultural belief.
- Jesus came to set us free. Pray for Caucasians to be “perfected in love” that casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
- Pray for opportunities for the Caucasian community to be introduced to the teaching of Jesus.
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