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Afghan in Afghanistan

Afghan

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Afghan in Afghanistan map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
8,150,000 Dari Islam 0.01 % 0.01 %   

Afghan in Afghanistan

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Introduction / History
Afghanistan boasts the largest Tajik population outside their homeland to the north in Tajikistan. Comprising over one-quarter of the Afghan population, they are the second largest group in the country. Dating from the 4th century, historical evidence strongly supports their being one of the most ancient of the surviving Central Asian people groups. A Mediterranean sub-group of the Caucasian race, modern Tajiks are descended from Persian peoples. A tall, slender, fair-skinned people with blue or green eyes and often with red or blond hair, intermarriage with Turks and Mongolians introduced almond-shaped eyes and straight black hair to their physical characteristics.

An old Turkish expression, "Tajik" is synonymous with "Persian". They have always spoken Persian (speaking the related Dari dialect in Afghanistan) whereas other Persian language speakers in Central Asia adopted the language. Most often they refer to themselves by the valley name of their home region rather than as Tajik. One vast habitat is the rugged, mountainous Panjsher Valley north of Kabul where poor farmers and herders live in villages of flat-roofed mud brick or stone houses. When water is plentiful the country's finest fruits and nuts, as well as various grain crops, are produced here. Ahmad Shah Masoud, Afghanistan's revered Taliban resistance leader who was assassinated in 2001, was a native son of this valley. Smaller concentrations of Tajiks live in Herat Province on the western border with Iran. A third group, large and more educated, lives in Kabul where they have enjoyed economic success and political influence. Merchants and highly talented craftsmen are also a segment of these urban dwellers. Because large Tajik families are close-knit, city-dwellers are known to maintain close ties with their relatives in the countryside.

Originally a tribal group, they abandoned strict organizational structure long ago. However, cultural traditions are guarded and observed - traditions that survived centuries of invasion by forces ranging from ancient Arab hordes to recent Taliban fighters. One social tradition is that of offering extraordinary hospitality - a practice shared with other Afghan peoples. Hosting guests is considered an honor - an occasion for a fine meal. "Osh", a special dish prepared by Tajik men, contains rice, lamb, spices and vegetables and may be served with flat bread rounds baked with a blend of several flours, fruit, yogurt and tea. Even poor farmers welcome guests with tea, bread and yogurt.

Forcefully converted to Islam by Arabs in the 7th century, Afghan Tajiks remain almost entirely Muslim. Religious traditions dictate rituals to celebrate important life passages, including birth, marriage and death. Memorized prayers are recited daily and in some communities old practices incorporating magic, charms and animistic beliefs still have a place.

Time-honored artistic traditions including poetry, folk tales, artwork, songs and dances define and preserve the values of the Tajik culture. Creative expressions include handsome carpets, ceramics, richly embroidered costumes and men's brightly colored caps and jewelry. In times past, Tajiks painted elaborate wooden ceilings in mosques and palaces and decorated books, often incorporating Persian poetry in both. Afghan Tajik clothing is not especially distinctive but men do top their embroidered caps with a Turban and women favor shawls over veils.

Tajik society is male dominated, but women have known less public restriction in the workplace and society (except under Taliban rule) than women in other Muslim groups. Their private lives are similar, however, leaning to the man's advantage. Women have no rights of inheritance. Afghan marriages are typically arranged and divorce may be initiated only by a husband who dissolves a union by repeating three times to his wife, "I divorce you".

Past advantages the Tajik enjoyed in Afghan society may have eroded somewhat amid the instability of recent years. However, a strong national identity and their characteristic hard work will doubtless serve Tajik community members well as Afghanistan rebuilds.

What are their beliefs?
The Tajiks are almost entirely Muslim. Most of them are Sunni Muslims of the Hanafi Sect, but there are a few Ismaili Shia Muslims living in the remote mountain areas. Islam permeates every area of their lives. Rituals relating to birth, puberty, marriage, and death are all built around their beliefs. They faithfully repeat memorized prayers five times a day.

In addition to Islamic beliefs, spiritism (beliefs that incorporate use of charms and amulets) is also widespread among the Tajiks.

What are their needs?
The Tajiks have known frequent war and internal tribal strife. Their territories have continually been invaded over the centuries by Arabians, Greeks, Mongolians, Persians, Turks, Russians, and the British.

The Islamic religion is very difficult to influence. Converts to Christianity will more than likely be "banished" from their families. Because of this the Tajiks, though usually warm and hospitable, are becoming more and more apprehensive towards outsiders.

The Tajiks speak Dari Persian, a language that came from King Darius (mentioned in the book of Daniel). Unfortunately, only about one-tenth of the Tajiks are able to read.

Prayer Points
* Ask God to restore political peace and stability to Afghanistan.
* Ask God to call Christian workers who are trained in the Dari language to take the Gospel to the Tajiks.
* Pray that the Christian relief workers who are working in Pakistan will be effective witnesses among the Tajiks who have been displaced from their homes.
* Pray that relief funds will be made available for those living in famine stricken areas.
* Pray that strong local churches will be planted among the Afghani Tajik.

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Prayer Links  
PrayerGuard.net
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-10-30
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Country: Afghanistan
Continent: Asia
Region: Central Asia
Persecution Rank:3 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Total Provinces on file:14
Location in Country:Widespread.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
   
 
Maps
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
 
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Afghan
People Name General: Afghan
Alternate People Names:
FarsIrani
Persian
ROP3 Code: 107989
Joshua Project People ID: 14372
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 8,150,000
Population all Countries: 8,538,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
People Cluster: Persian
People Name General: Afghan
Ethnic Code: CNT24f
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Dari (8,150,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): prs    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Sub-division:Sunni
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.01 %(Evangelical: 0.01 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.99 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent100.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
 
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
   
 
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1974
New Testament:
1982-1985Audio
Complete Bible: 2008
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
 
 
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsFathers Love Letter
Audio RecordingsFathers Love Letter
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Dari
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
Text / Printed MatterBible Gateway Scripture
Text / Printed MatterBible: Today's Dari Version
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
 
 
Ministry Activity
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Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
 
Data Notes
Data Sources
 
 

Afghan in Afghanistan

Peoples
               
Geographic
Global                 Global
           
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    Persian     Central Asia    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Afghan Afghanistan    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Afghan in Afghanistan          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Dari  
    Global    
Language
 
    All Religions                              
   
Religion
                             

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