Southern Pashtun in Tajikistan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Other PDF Profile

Introduction / History

The Pashtun of Afghanistan and Pakistan have been called the largest Muslim tribal society in the world. There are at least 30 major tribes, and countless sub-tribes and clans. Spread over a vast geographical area and riven by socio-economic, political, tribal and linguistic (dialectical) differences, Pashtuns nevertheless share a unique sense of common identity. Pashtun identity is based on four elements: Heritage (descent from a common ancestor); Islam (99.9% Muslim); the Pashtunwali Code of Honor ("The Way of the Pashtun"); and to some extent, language (Pakhtu or Pashto). Though this is an oversimplification, their languages are broken down. Southern Pashtun is one of the main Pashtun languages.
They live primarily in Afghanistan and Pakistan, though there is a significant Southern Pashtun diaspora in the Arab Gulf and many Western countries. A smaller number live in neighboring Central Asian countries including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and especially Tajikistan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Southern Pashtuns and other Afghans report feeling welcome by the Tajik majority. This is probably because jobs are scarce; they face a high rate of unemployment. Some of the Southern Pashtuns can start small businesses, but they are very limited because they are not allowed to live in Dushanbe, the capital city, where there are more opportunities than in rural areas and townships. Most Southern Pashtuns in Tajikistan want to either move on to a Western country or return to Afghanistan.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Whether they are new in Western countries or they have never been to the original Pashtun homeland, Southern Pashtuns almost always identify themselves as Sunni Muslims. They will be married in a mosque, and to be associated with another religious system would be unacceptable in their community. Those who want to take Christ to the Southern Pashtuns will need to do just that; take Christ to them, not a religious system. The Pashtunwali Code of Honor erodes among Southern Pashtuns who live in urban settings. Some have only a weak identity as Pashtuns. They need to find their identity in the savior who loves them and wants them to be transformed into his likeness.

What Are Their Needs?

The Southern Pashtuns need to hear of the only savior of mankind, the one who can give them abundant life.

Prayer Points

Pray for a movement to Christ among the Pashtuns Diaspora that will spread far and wide. Pray for accuracy in Bible translations in progress.
Pray for more workers to serve among the Pashtun people in Tajikistan—in education, business, healthcare, development, and other professional areas.
No one knows how many Southern Pashtuns are following Jesus. Seeds of the gospel have been sown widely. The greatest barriers to faith are social and cultural. Pray for God's Spirit to strengthen and protect new believers and to empower their lives and witness.

Scripture Prayers for the Pashtun, Southern in Tajikistan.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  
Other PDF Profile

People Name General Pashtun, Southern
People Name in Country Pashtun, Southern
Natural Name Southern Pashtun
Pronunciation pahsh-TOON
Alternate Names Afghan; Afghan Pathan; Khan; Pashto; Pashtun; Pathan; Pukhtun; Pushtun
Population this Country 35,000
Population all Countries 5,026,000
Total Countries 9
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 14327
ROP3 Code 109502
ROP25 Code 306585
ROP25 Name Pashtun
Country Tajikistan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 46  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Khatlon region.   Source: 
Country Tajikistan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 46  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Khatlon region..   Source: 

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Pashto, Southern (35,000 speakers)
Language Code pbt   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Pashto, Southern (35,000 speakers)
Language Code pbt   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Pashto, Southern

Primary Language:  Pashto, Southern

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2011-2019)
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
FCBH 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 General Ministry Resources General / Other
Audio Recordings Pashto Radio General / Other
Film / Video God's Love Story General / Other
Film / Video Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Pashto, Southern Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Photo Source chiplanay - Pixabay 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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