Pashtun Yusafzai in Pakistan


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

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). They live primarily in Afghanistan and Pakistan, though there is a significant Pashtun diaspora in the Arab Gulf and many Western countries.
There have been efforts to reach the Pashtun since 1818, when William Carey translated parts of the Old Testament into Pakhto, based on interaction with Pashtun traders who caravanned (and settled) across north India and beyond. (In South Asia, the name "Pashtun/Pakhtun" was anglicized to "Pathan"—a name immortalized in Rudyard Kipling's novels and British colonial history; today, the Pashtun in India, Bangladesh, and throughout South Asia are known as "Pathan".) The first intentional mission to the Pashtun was launched by the Church Missionary Society in Peshawar, Pakistan (then Northwest India) in 1853. This was followed by over 150 years of faithful witness, through mission hospitals, schools, colleges, literature, friendship evangelism, and other forms of witness by national Pakistani (Punjabi) Christians and expatriate missionaries. Despite this record, and the slow but growing number of scattered Pashtun believers, a vibrant, indigenous, disciple-making movement has yet to take root and spread.
The majority of Pashtun live in Pakistan. Among them are the Yusafzai. They are concentrated mainly in the northern and western provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan. The Durand Line (the border established under British colonial rule) divides traditional Pashtun homelands in Afghanistan and present-day Pakistan. However, due to tribal, linguistic, social and economic ties, the border is porous, and volatile—fertile ground for the drug trade, smuggling, and cross-border militancy.


What Are Their Lives Like?

More significant than dialectical differences, a Pashtun's primary loyalty is to his particular social group (tribe or sub-tribe). This loyalty supersedes their loyalty to either Afghanistan or Pakistan, their two major countries of origin.
Be they in Afghanistan or Pakistan, Pashtuns must deal with the Taliban, which rules Afghanistan with an iron fist. The Taliban has a high concentration of Pashtun members. However, different clans might be loyal to them or against them.
Pashtun clans in Pakistan like the Yusafzai must make a living in a country that is dominated by a Punjabi speaking elite. They try to protect their identity and interests through groups like the Pashtun Tahafuz (protection) Movement.
In Pakistan one can find Pashtuns in all walks of life, but most are involved in agriculture.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Although most Pakistani Christians are from a former low-caste background and speak Punjabi, some have overcome social, language and prejudice barriers to reach out in love to their Muslim neighbors. Despite growing anti-Western and anti-American sentiment, Pakistan still offers opportunities for investment, learning, business and service. Many expatriates have enjoyed the renowned hospitality and friendship of Pashtuns and other Pakistani peoples.


What Are Their Needs?

Pashtun peoples have tremendous potential. If they allowed the Holy Spirit to transform their families and communities, they and those around them would be blessed beyond measure.


Prayer Points

Media. Pray for the production and distribution of all forms of media in the Pashto language, including literature, videos, music, movies, radio, websites, and social media. The demand and response have increased!
Scripture. Pray for Bible translations in progress!
Laborers. Pray for more workers to serve among the Pashtun people—in education, business, healthcare, development, and other professional areas!
Believers. No one knows how many Pashtuns are following Jesus. Believers have sewn seeds far and wide. 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.
Pray for an unstoppable Holy Spirit directed movement to Christ among every Pashtun clan that will abundantly bless them in every way.


Scripture Prayers for the Pashtun Yusafzai in Pakistan.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Pashtun Yusafzai
People Name in Country Pashtun Yusafzai
Population this Country 3,554,000
Population all Countries 4,578,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 71
Alternate Names
People ID 22294
ROP3 Code 119313
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 8  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 7
Largest States
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
2,638,000
Punjab
398,000
Sindh
366,000
Azad Kashmir
25,000
Balochistan
19,000
Islamabad
12,000
Gilgit-Baltistan
600
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 8  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 7
  Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 2,638,000
  Punjab 398,000
  Sindh 366,000
  Azad Kashmir 25,000
  Balochistan 19,000
  Islamabad 12,000
  Gilgit-Baltistan 600
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Pashto, Northern (1,731,000 speakers)
Language Code pbu   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 21
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Pashto, Central
1,246,000
Hindko, Northern
152,000
Saraiki
131,000
Urdu
98,000
Punjabi, Western
81,000
Sindhi
67,000
Kohistani, Indus
32,000
Khowar
24,000
Pahari-Potwari
10,000
Hindko, Southern
6,400
Gawri
5,700
Dhatki
4,900
Shina, Kohistani
3,500
Torwali
2,800
Balochi, Eastern
500
Primary Language Pashto, Northern (1,731,000 speakers)
Language Code pbu   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 21
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Pashto, Central 1,246,000
  Hindko, Northern 152,000
  Saraiki 131,000
  Urdu 98,000
  Punjabi, Western 81,000
  Sindhi 67,000
  Kohistani, Indus 32,000
  Khowar 24,000
  Pahari-Potwari 10,000
  Hindko, Southern 6,400
  Gawri 5,700
  Dhatki 4,900
  Shina, Kohistani 3,500
  Torwali 2,800
  Balochi, Eastern 500
People Groups Speaking Pashto, Northern
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
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 Pakistan census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source National Archives  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more