Wild. Weary. War-torn. Spread across the northern plains and peaks of Europe’s tallest mountains, these isolated Muslim people groups of the North Caucasus remain a significant challenge to finishing the Great Commission, representing a dangerous and difficult-to-access frontier. Yet this forgotten land boasts unparalleled beauty and legendary hospitality to accompany opportunities for pioneer mission. Though troubles remain, the region is far safer than a decade ago, with the possibility of deeper stability on the horizon, even in the renowned but infamous Chechnya region where war and conflict with the Kremlin in the 1990’s has been superseded by reconstruction and relative political stability.
From the campaigns of Alexander the Great to the caravans of the ancient Silk Road, the North Caucasus has long straddled the crossroads of humanity – Arabs, Mongols, Persians, Russians, Turks -North Caucasus civilization has reacted to and been deeply influenced by a constellation of cultures. It is now a breathtaking patchwork of 40 ethnic groups speaking 70 distinct languages and dialects, but this may include possibly hundreds of additional tribal and clan divisions. Today, the people of this region are striving to have a share of the prosperity that Russia has been enjoying while balancing this with a measure of political and cultural anonymity – a citizen of Dagestan may live within the borders of the Russian federation, but they are proudly Dagestani!