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|Primary Language:||Persian, Iranian|
|Christian Adherents:||0.80 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
By definition, Persians (also known as Iranians) are an ethnic group native to 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. Around 1000 B. C. , Persian groups began to settle in the territory that is now Iran. Loosely associated Persian tribes became a more cohesive political unit under the Achaemenian dynasty. 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. This laid the foundation for a successful Arabian conquest of Persia in the seventh century AD. It was not until the Islamic revolution of 1979 that massive changes came both to Iran and to the Persian people. The first Persians to emigrate to Australia went there in the late 1800s. There were a small number who joined them in the 1960s-1970s. Most arrived in the 1980s after the revolution and the war between Iran and Iraq.
In the 21st century most of the Iranians emigrating to Australia have come as doctors, engineers and other highly paid professionals. The basic social and economic unit in Persian culture is the nuclear family; however, some families join together to make larger units. Families are traditionally patriarchal, patrilineal and patrilocal. This means that their society is strictly male-dominated. This is changing for the more secularized Persians in countries like Australia.
Prior to the Arab invasions, the Persian religion was Zoroastrianism. This religion taught that there was an eternal struggle between the forces of good and evil. Shia Islam became the national religion of Iran in the sixteenth century, at which time the ulama (clergy) began playing an important role in both the social and political lives of the people. Today, most Persians are Shia Muslims of the Ithna Ashari branch, and are radical in their adherence to Islamic laws and principles. Thanks to the excess of the Iranian government, a high percentage of Persians are secularized and tired of forced religion. The Lord is growing his Church in Iran, and many have come to faith in recent years. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be affecting Persians in countries like Australia.
Persians need their spiritual eyes will be opened. Some are staunch Shia Muslims while others are secularized. Both groups need to understand the value of Christ’s death and resurrection.
Pray for Persian believers from Iran to take Christ to Persians in other countries including Australia. Pray for a spiritual hunger among the Persian diaspora that will result in a movement to Christ in Australia. Pray for the Lord to show himself powerful and loving to the Persians in Australia.