Pashtun Zhmaryani in Pakistan

The Pashtun Zhmaryani have only been reported in Pakistan
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

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 Zhmaryani. They are concentrated mainly in the northern and western provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. 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 Zhmaryani 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?

Officially all Pashtun groups, including the Zhmaryani, are Sunni Muslims. However, their traditional Pashtunwali Code of Honor takes priority over Islamic doctrines.


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. There is an ongoing need for Christian media and Bible tools for all Pashtun people. They need workers who can withstand grim situations. They need to serve in education, business, healthcare, development and other professional areas.
Pashtun Christ followers are few and far between. They need God’s protection and the anointing of the Holy Spirit.


Prayer Points

Pray for an unstoppable Holy Spirit directed movement to Christ among every Pashtun clan that will abundantly bless them in every way.
Pray for a lasting peace in the Pashtun homeland that only God can provide.
Pray for the Lord to raise up many from the Zhmaryani Pashtun who will follow the Lord no matter how much community pressure they face.


Scripture Prayers for the Pashtun Zhmaryani in Pakistan.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Pashtun Zhmaryani
People Name in Country Pashtun Zhmaryani
Alternate Names
Population this Country 134,000
Population all Countries 134,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 3
People ID 22298
ROP3 Code 119317
ROP25 Code 306585
ROP25 Name Pashtun
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 7  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 3
Largest States
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
66,000
Balochistan
44,000
Punjab
22,000
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 7  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 3
  Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 66,000
  Balochistan 44,000
  Punjab 22,000
Website South Asia Peoples
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.
Primary Language Pashto, Central (86,000 speakers)
Language Code pst   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 8
Secondary Languages
Pashto, Northern
35,000
Hindko, Southern
3,600
Saraiki
2,200
Urdu
1,900
Hindko, Northern
1,800
Khowar
400
Balochi, Eastern
400
Primary Language Pashto, Central (86,000 speakers)
Language Code pst   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 8
Secondary Languages
  Pashto, Northern 35,000
  Hindko, Southern 3,600
  Saraiki 2,200
  Urdu 1,900
  Hindko, Northern 1,800
  Khowar 400
  Balochi, Eastern 400
People Groups Speaking Pashto, Central

Primary Language:  Pashto, Central

Bible Translation Status:  Unspecified

Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Film / Video God's Love Story General / Other
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General General Ministry Resources General / Other
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. Learn more.



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