Persian in Uzbekistan


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

By definition, Persians (also known as Iranians) are an ethnic group native to the region known today as Iran. The Persian language, called Farsi, is part of the Indo-Iranian language family, and is the official language of Iran. Dari, the language of the elite in Afghanistan, is a dialect of modern Farsi.

Persian groups began to settle in the territory that is now Iran as long ago as 1000 B.C. The loosely associated Persian tribes later became a more cohesive political unit under the Achaimenian Dynasty, and their unity soon made them the dominant ethnic group in the region.

For 1,200 years, Persia maintained a culture that became increasingly more complex and rigid, laying the foundation for a successful Arabian conquest in the seventh century. It was not until the Islamic revolution of 1979 that massive changes came both to Iran and to the Persian people.

The vast majority of Persians now live either in Iran or in one of the nearby Middle Eastern countries. However, small Persian communities can also be found in other nations all over the globe, such as Uzbekistan.


What Are Their Lives Like?

According to official figures, around 98 percent of Uzbekistan’s Muslims are Sunni. The Persian Iranian identity centers largely around a Shia form of Islam. Shias are thought to total only a few thousand, mostly ethnic Iranians living in Samarkand and Bukhara. Their Persian language comes with many distinct dialects.

In 2020, the Persian Iranian community faced mounting pressure from Uzbek authorities, who forbid religious groups from forming outside of government approval. Uzbek officials say they aim to target Muslim radicalization. But without understanding the difficult Iranian dialects, they have pursued some Shia gatherings, arresting individuals with Shia audio teachings and literature. The Shia community legally operates and is even represented in the state-approved Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of Uzbekistan yet arrests and detentions are on the rise. Some have been held for long periods without a defense lawyer and have endured abuse. Further evidence of pressure is seen in recent census data. For example, in the 1989 census, nearly 25,000 people were listed as Iranian. However, the Iranian community was not identified at all in the censuses of 2000 and 2013. Even recent surveys designate Iranians as Uzbeks.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Though they are officially Shia Muslims, many Iranians who have left Iran tend towards secularism, especially in the secularized environment of Europe. However, some have had the chance to hear about and be drawn to Jesus Christ.


What Are Their Needs?

The Lord is growing His Church in Iran, and many have come to faith in recent years. Pray that the spiritual changes will extend to Iranians in Uzbekistan as well.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Persian in Uzbekistan.

* Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect formerly Muslim Iranians who have come to faith in Christ. Pray they will reach out to others.
* Pray that God will raise up faithful intercessors who will stand in the gap for the Iranian Diaspora.
* Ask the Lord to call and send out people who are willing to share the love of Christ with Iranians.
* Pray for a powerful movement to Christ among Iranians in Uzbekistan.


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Persian
People Name in Country Persian
Pronunciation PUR-zhun
Population this Country 34,000
Population all Countries 42,335,000
Total Countries 42
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Fars; Irani; पर्षियन
People ID 14371
ROP3 Code 107987
Country Uzbekistan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Xorazm region; scattered elsewhere.   Source:  Ethnologue 2020
Country Uzbekistan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Xorazm region; scattered elsewhere..   Source:  Ethnologue 2020

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Persian, Iranian (34,000 speakers)
Language Code pes   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Persian, Iranian (34,000 speakers)
Language Code pes   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Persian, Iranian

Primary Language:  Persian, Iranian

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1546-1965)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1815-1979)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1845-2014)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings DAVAR Partners recording, complete Bible
Audio Recordings General Ministry Resources
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Persian, Iranian
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Rivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
Film / Video The Savior 0 - The Savior Trailer
Film / Video The Savior 3 - Woman at the Well
Film / Video Zume Project - Making Multiplying Disciples
General Got Questions Ministry
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.20 %)
0.50 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
98.50 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
1.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
29.0 %
Orthodox
59.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
4.0 %
Roman Catholic
8.0 %
Photo Source Hamed Saber  Creative Commons 
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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