Asian Orthodox Missionaries?

According to this page, Russia has:

  • up to 900,000 Chuvash Orthodox in Chuvashia speaking a Turkic language,
  • a few thousand Turkic-speaking Balkar Orthodox in Kabardino-Balkaria,
  • up to 68,000 Turkic-speaking Khaka Orthodox in Khakassia,
  • maybe a couple hundred thousand Ossetian Orthodox in North Ossetia-Alania speaking a tongue in the Iranian language family,
  • and maybe a couple hundred thousand Turkic-speaking Yakut Orthodox in St. Innocent of Alaska’s old stomping grounds in Siberia (Wow, that Turkic stuff really got around).

That adds up to maybe over a million Turkic-speaking Orthodox, whose kindred languages are spoken not only in Turkey and Turkmenistan (Turkmenia) but also the Balkans, Caucasus, and Northwest China. It so happens that Islam is impinging on more than one Local Orthodox Church in and near some of those regions – not only their home Moscow Patriarchate, but also of course Constantinople. Might God call some of these million to learn one or more closely-related languages and go (or write, broadcast) and spread the Truth of their Orthodoxy? Orthodoxy in Turkey is down to a couple thousand Greeks around Istanbul, maybe 10-15,000 Arab Orthodox there and around Antakya (old Antioch), and some Georgians in the east. Turkmenistan is part of a single MP diocese covering all the former Soviet republics south of Kazakhstan. Azerbaijan has a few Georgian and MP parishes.

As for the couple hundred thousand Ossetians, their kindred languages are spoken not only in Iran but also all over that region: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, the Kurdish region (Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran). Maybe it’s just because I’m an American that this area is on my mind alot lately…? I think the Antiochian Patriarchate has some parishes scattered across Iraq and vicinity in addition to Antakya mentioned above.


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