Pashtun in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Expanded PDF Profile

Introduction / History

The Pashtun have been called the largest Muslim tribal society in the world. There are at least 30 major tribes, and countless sub-tribes and clans. Pashtuns share a unique sense of common identity based on four elements: Heritage, Islam, the Pashtunwali Code of Honor, and to some extent, language (Pakhtu or Pashto). More significant than dialectical differences, a Pashtun's primary loyalty is to his particular social group (tribe or sub-tribe).
There have been efforts to reach the Pashtun since 1818, when William Carey translated parts of the Old Testament into Pakhtu, based on interaction with Pashtun traders who caravanned (and settled) across north India and beyond. The first intentional mission to the Pashtun was launched by the Church Missionary Society in Peshawar, Pakistan in 1853. This was followed by over 150 years of faithful witness. Despite this record, a vibrant, indigenous, disciple-making movement has yet to take root and spread.
Pashto, the language of the Pashtuns, is a complex language. There are many varieties of the one language Pashto. Even women, who have less interaction with outsiders and other language groups, are said to speak a distinctive variety of Pashto!


Where Are they Located?

The majority of Pashtun live in Pakistan and Afghanistan. There is also a large Pashtun diaspora in India, and Pashtuns are the fourth largest Muslim people group in that country. Through the long process of indigenization, most Pashtuns in India today are often indistinguishable from other Indian Muslim communities. They are divided into at least 32 subgroups which reflect various clans, etc. You can find the Pashtuns in most states of India especially Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab. Many of the Pashtun settlements in India date back hundreds of years.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Pashtuns in India have a low literacy rate, which holds them back economically and socially. Those who have a good education often work as professionals or with government agencies, especially police departments. Those in rural areas sometimes earn a good income by renting out family-owned farmland or selling horses. The rural poor among them suffer from unsanitary conditions caused mainly by poor water.
Pashtuns in India as well as other parts of South Asia have an affinity for Bollywood actors and actresses with the surname of Khan, which they attribute to their own ethnic group. Some Khans are Pashtun, but not all of them.
Honor (and conversely, shame) refers not to personal feelings or a psychological state, but to one’s public reputation in the eyes of others. In a collectivistic society like the Pashtun, where community is emphasized over individualism, a person’s identity is defined by his/her group. Everything one does is a matter of honor. Where you sit at a meal, who you marry, where you work, how you make decisions or spend money, all are affected by social expectations, and in turn affect one’s reputation (honor). Although the practice of Pashtunwali may be decreasing among urban Pashtuns, it remains a unifying theme.
Women are both the weakest link, and most important symbol, of the honor of any Pashtun man, family, and tribe. For a woman, honor is equated with modesty. The notion of modesty involves far more than dress and includes the total demeanor of a woman and her submission to the men (father, husband, brothers) in her family.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Pashtuns are Sunni Muslims. Right religious practice (orthopraxy) tends to be more important than right belief (orthodoxy). Actual religious practice and piety vary according to context. As in other parts of the Muslim world, some Pashtuns are cultural Muslims; others are secular, or non-practicing; still others identify with the mystical tradition of Islam.
Pashtuns fear the influence of demons and evil spirits and seek protection by visiting the shrines of Muslim saints through amulets and charms, astrology, and fortune telling. Driven by felt needs—healing, desire for a son, relief from an abusive spouse—women especially turn to folk practices to ward off evil and seek God’s favor.


What Are Their Needs?

The Pashtuns in India need to be liberated from the spirit world. They need a higher literacy rate so they can thrive in India’s rapidly developing urban economy.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Pashtun, Pathan in India.

Pray for each subgroup of Pashtuns in India to have a movement to Christ which will bless them economically and spiritually.
Ask God’s Spirit to soften hearts to the truth of the gospel, to confirm the Word with signs following, and to reveal Christ to the minds and hearts of Pashtun!
Ask God to anoint, and grant wisdom, favor and fruitfulness to workers and agencies focused on the Pashtun.
Most Pashtun women are troubled by fears and have deep needs. Ask God to touch their hearts, especially through radio and television, and to help them put their faith in the Almighty savior.


References

http://www.khyber.org/articles/2007/Study_of_the_Pathan_Communitie.shtml
https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/anthropology-and-archaeology/people/pathans
https://www.facebook.com/PathanInIndia/posts/notable-indians-of-pashtun-ancestrybollywood-superstar-shahrukh-khan-is-a-non-pa/146777108809235/
https://www.hindustantimes.com/india/indian-pathans-to-broker-peace-in-afghanistan/story-W6Z4o4Dm0ETTz7tPBoHT1I.html
https://www.interlitfoundation.org/store/Rohi-Mataluna-Pashto-Proverbs-p5547627


Profile Source:   Anonymous  
Expanded PDF Profile

The Waiting World - The Pushtun
Source:  The Waiting World      Download

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2019-05-23
People Name General Pashtun, Pathan
People Name in Country Pashtun, Pathan
Natural Name Pashtun
Pronunciation pahsh-TOON
Population this Country 11,482,000
Population all Countries 11,695,000
Total Countries 4
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 230
Alternate Names पश्तून, पठान
People ID 21537
ROP3 Code 116298
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 35
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Uttar Pradesh
4,881,000
Maharashtra
1,203,000
West Bengal
1,027,000
Rajasthan
994,000
Madhya Pradesh
888,000
Karnataka
581,000
Bihar
356,000
Gujarat
277,000
Odisha
213,000
Telangana
207,000
Tamil Nadu
204,000
Delhi
170,000
Chhattisgarh
106,000
Andhra Pradesh
66,000
Jharkhand
64,000
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 35  (only 20 largest shown)
  Uttar Pradesh 4,881,000
  Maharashtra 1,203,000
  West Bengal 1,027,000
  Rajasthan 994,000
  Madhya Pradesh 888,000
  Karnataka 581,000
  Bihar 356,000
  Gujarat 277,000
  Odisha 213,000
  Telangana 207,000
  Tamil Nadu 204,000
  Delhi 170,000
  Chhattisgarh 106,000
  Andhra Pradesh 66,000
  Jharkhand 64,000
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Urdu (10,244,000 speakers)
Language Code urd   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 43
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Bengali
652,000
Marwari
154,000
Bhojpuri
85,000
Gujarati
81,000
Dhundari
56,000
Telugu
35,000
Pashto, Northern
33,000
Malayalam
33,000
Awadhi
31,000
Tamil
28,000
Shekhawati
26,000
Marathi
22,000
Kashmiri
14,000
Chhattisgarhi
12,000
Bagri
9,600
Primary Language Urdu (10,244,000 speakers)
Language Code urd   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 43
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Bengali 652,000
  Marwari 154,000
  Bhojpuri 85,000
  Gujarati 81,000
  Dhundari 56,000
  Telugu 35,000
  Pashto, Northern 33,000
  Malayalam 33,000
  Awadhi 31,000
  Tamil 28,000
  Shekhawati 26,000
  Marathi 22,000
  Kashmiri 14,000
  Chhattisgarhi 12,000
  Bagri 9,600
People Groups Speaking Urdu

Primary Language:  Urdu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1747-1894)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1758-2000)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1843-2007)
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 Online New Testament - Pakistan Bible Society (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Audio Recordings Urdu Online Audio Bible
Film / Video God's Love Story
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Urdu
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
Film / Video The Savior 6 - The Lord's Prayer
Film / Video The Savior 8 - Jesus is Risen
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Got Questions Ministry
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
100.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Soham Banerjee  Creative Commons  Used with permission
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Video Source The Waiting World
Profile Source Anonymous  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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