Sorani Kurd in Afghanistan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Kurds are a large ethnic group who have always lived in the same region, and who trace their roots back to the Medes of ancient Persia (the frontier of what is now Iraq, Iran and Turkey) more than 2,500 years ago. In fact, the Magi, or wise men, who traveled from the East to deliver their gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the newborn Jesus in Bethlehem were most likely Zoroastrian priests, ancestors of the modern Kurds. The Kurds are tribal people and many of them lived, until recently, a nomadic lifestyle in the mountainous regions of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Their refuge has always been the mountains, with their steep pastures and fertile valleys.
In the wake of World War I, with US President Woodrow Wilson's call for "self-determination" echoing loudly, the Kurds were promised a homeland - Kurdistan - in the Treaty of Sevres (1920). However, the victorious allies backed away from their pledge to court the new Turkish regime of Kemal Ataturk, and in fear of destabilizing Iraq and Syria, which were granted to Britain and France, respectively, as mandated territories. The 1923 Treaty of Lausanne thus abrogated Kurdish independence and divided the Kurds among Turkey, Iraq, and Syria. Ataturk's discrimination against Turkey's Kurdish population began almost immediately, with Kurdish political groups and manifestations of cultural identity banned outright. In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the Kurds of Iran, with Soviet support, succeeded in establishing the first independent Kurdish state (the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad). But this was quickly crushed by Iranian troops.
Today, Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world without a state of their own. They are unevenly distributed between Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Armenia and Azerbaijan. If the Middle East map were to be redrawn to give the Kurds their own boundaries, Kurdistan would be as large as France, stretching over 200,000 square miles. Most are Kurmanji speakers, both their second largest language is Sorani. That is the language of the Central Kurds.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Kurdish society consists mainly of tribes that arose from a nomadic and semi-nomadic way of life in previous centuries. It is strongly fragmented and is often split by internal disagreements. Central Kurds have never managed to unite in their common cause. Their primary loyalty is to the immediate family, and then to the tribe. Tribe allegiance is, however, based on a mixture of kinship and territorial loyalty. Many Kurds of the lower regions are not organized in tribes, but even there, strife is common between the different clans and communities. Because they have so few people in Afghanistan, this leaves them in a weak position to protect their interests.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Kurds "hold their Islam lightly", meaning they are not strongly committed to Islam, and do not identify with it as closely as Arabs. This is perhaps due to several factors, one being that many Kurds still feel some connection with the ancient Zoroastrian faith, and they feel it is an original Kurdish spirituality that far predates the seventh century AD arrival of Mohammad. Nonetheless, most Kurds are Muslims, and today about three quarters are members of the majority Sunni branch (at least nominally). Other Kurds are Shia Muslims, living mostly in Iran where the Shia faith is predominant.

What Are Their Needs?

Tribalism is a detrimental factor for the Central Kurds. It divides them into mutually hostile factions which weaken the possibility of an independent homeland. It prevents them from protecting their interests.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to bless the Central Kurds in Afghanistan, so they see his power and goodness.
Pray for Central Kurdish family leaders to have such a spiritual hunger that they will seek and find Christ no matter what the cost.
Pray for loving and dedicated Christian workers.
Pray for Central Kurdish disciples to make more disciples.

Scripture Prayers for the Kurd, Sorani in Afghanistan.


Middle East Resources

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Kurd, Sorani
People Name in Country Kurd, Sorani
Natural Name Sorani Kurd
Pronunciation kerd
Alternate Names Central Kurd; Kurdish; Sorani
Population this Country 4,300
Population all Countries 3,950,000
Total Countries 5
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 11126
ROP3 Code 101922
ROP25 Code 304412
ROP25 Name Kurd
Country Afghanistan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Afghanistan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Subdivision: Sunni
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.01 %)
0.01 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
99.99 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Kurdish, Central (4,300 speakers)
Language Code ckb   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Kurdish, Central (4,300 speakers)
Language Code ckb   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Kurdish, Central

Primary Language:  Kurdish, Central

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1894-1993)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1994-2011)
Bible-Complete Yes  (2016-2020)
FCBH NT ( Online
YouVersion NT ( Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings DAVAR Partners recording, complete Bible DAVAR Partners International
Audio Recordings Online Scripture / NT General / Other
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories One Story
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories Story Runners
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Sorani Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
General Zume Training Zume Project
Mobile App Android Bible app: Kurdish, Central YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Kurdish, Central YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Bible Gateway scripture Bible Gateway
Text / Printed Matter Jesus Messiah comic book General / Other
Text / Printed Matter Tools for faith conversations Campus Crusade for Christ
Photo Source 
Map Source  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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