Astiani in Iran

Photo Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center 
Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Astiani
Country: Iran
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 28,000
World Population: 28,000
Primary Language: Ashtiani
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Talysh
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

In the mid-eleventh century, the Seljuk Turks conquered Iran under Togrul Beg. During the next four centuries, it was successively dominated by the Seljuks, the Mongols under Genghis Khan, Tamerlane and his Mongol hordes, and the Turkmen, resulting in a melting pot of ethnic groups including the Astiani people. the Astiani, compose a minute percentage of the total population. The origins of the Astiani are unclear. However, they live mainly as herdsmen in the Tafres area of Iran's Markazi Province. They are closely related to the Vafsi people.

What Are Their Lives Like?

More than half of Iran is rugged terrain or wasteland, most of which is uninhabitable salt deserts. About one-tenth of the country is suitable for farming, and another one-fourth is suitable for grazing. Nearly one-third of the agricultural land area is irrigated, mostly in the hilly margins between desert and mountains. It's in this environment that the Astiani are trying to produce enough food for their needs.

Health conditions outside of Tehran are poor. Many small towns and rural areas suffer from unsanitary conditions and a shortage of medical personnel and facilities. As a result, health care needs are a challenge to the Astiani people. Education is also a challenge. Iran's school system is relatively undeveloped, and it serves mainly to prepare a few students for university-level education.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Ethnic minorities like the Astiani sometimes hold greater allegiance to their ethnic groups than to Iranian government. Thus, the Astiani and other minority tribes are usually Shia Muslim, but for their daily lives and practical needs, they look to the spirit world for help.

What Are Their Needs?

The Astiani people need better health care and schools. They also need the chance to hear about the Risen Savior, but there are still no Christian materials in their Ashtiani language.

Prayer Points

Pray for God to demonstrate his blessing—strengthening and healing families and communities within the Astiani people so they will follow him.

Pray that God will send culturally-sensitive Christ followers who will show them the way to the cross.

Pray for a movement to Christ that will flourish among this people group.

Pray for the Astiani people to be blessed with peace, joy and spiritual prosperity as they follow Jesus Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project