People Group Profiles

“All nations will come and worship before you."

- Revelations 15:4

Russian of North America

People Group Info

Total Population: 961,102

ROP3 Code: 108452
IMB Affinity Group: European Peoples
Affinity Bloc: Eurasian Peoples
People Cluster: Slav, Eastern
Language: Russian - (rus)
Religion: Christianity - Orthodox
Country of Origin: Russia

Photo courtesy of Joshua Project.
Copyright © International Mission Board-SBC

Majority Located Where

  Toronto (Mississauga, Brampton), ON - 118,090

  New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY - 100,000

  Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA - 53,900

  Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL - 38,762

  San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA - 31,640

Click here to recommend other locations where this People Group resides.

Learn More

Brief Profile

The majority of Russian people who immigrated to North America came from the European region west of the Ural Mountain range, specifically from the Russia metro areas of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Census reports over 3 million claiming Russian ancestry with many no longer able to speak Russian or associating with other Russians. However, many still speak Russian as their primary language and primarily associate with other Russians, especially in large metro areas like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc. (The profile density map reports only Russians who speak Russian as their primary language.)

The majority of Russians claim Christian Orthodoxy or Judaism (For information about Russians who adhere to Judaism, see Russian Jews).

The majority of Orthodox Russians are nominally religious. Orthodoxy often merely serves as a cultural connection into the Russian community. Consequently, they sometimes are in name only Orthodox.

The Orthodoxy of Russians has different forms depending on the origin they are from but all would fall under the same heading as the Greek Orthodox. There are several Russian evangelical congregations in North America found mostly in larger metro areas.

New York City is home to a large Russian and Russian-speaking population. The largest Russian-American communities in New York City are located in Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay. Brighton Beach has been nicknamed Little Odessa due to its population of Russian-speaking immigrants from Ukraine and Russia.

Prayer Points

  • Pray that the existing evangelical Russian presence will be bold in sharing their faith with their family and friends.
  • Pray that other evangelical Christians will come alongside the existing Russian evangelical Christians to share the message of Jesus Christ with Russians.
  • Pray for Orthodox and nominal Christian Russians to experience a living faith in Jesus Christ.

Learning Resources

Learn more about "Learning Paths"
Online Courses for embracing, encountering and engaging diaspora people. Work at your own pace. Begin anytime and complete the course according to your schedule. Interactive, Hands-On Application.

Learn more about "Reaching the Nations"
This book delineates five disciplines Christians should develop in order to effectively reach the nations. More specifically, it will guide Christians to develop an engagement strategy in their locale.

Other Resources

Know God in 98 Languages
A CRU resource with 9 different witnessing models (e.g. 4 Spiritual Laws, etc.) in 98 languages.

Prayer Guide for Unreached Peoples
A 30 day guide to pray for unreached people groups.

Online Talking Bible - Russian
The purpose of Talking Bibles is to give non-readers and the blind access to the Bible in their native language.

Prayer Guide using the GOSPELS acronym
A prayer guide that utilizes the acronym GOSPELS to pray for workers among diaspora.

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