Urdu in Norway

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People Name: Urdu
Country: Norway
10/40 Window: No
Population: 35,000
World Population: 2,112,900
Primary Language: Urdu
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Aryan tribes entered India about 1500 BC mixing with mongoloids, Greeks and Huns. Through the generations this caused their Indian features to gradually become more Caucasian and their languages to become more diverse. In later centuries Muslim influence promoted the linguistic change out of which the Urdu language eventually developed. Hindi and Urdu are similar languages, but they are divided by religious affiliation; Hindi is spoken by the Hindu peoples while Urdu is spoken by Muslims. Urdu is heavily laden with Persian and Arabic words and is written in the Persian script.
Today when one thinks of South Asian Muslim languages, Urdu is the first one that comes to mind. Urdu is seldom a heart language, but it is the trade language of Pakistan. Urdu speakers come from all walks of life, but they usually originate in either Pakistan or northern India. The Urdu possess a sense of group identity based on cultural and historical factors: the Islamic religion, a Persian cultural tradition, the Urdu language, and the tradition of Muslim supremacy in northern India.
In recent years many Urdu-speaking Muslims have emigrated to Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, searching for economic opportunities. Skilled laborers and highly educated professionals among them have also emigrated to Western Europe, North America, and British Commonwealth countries all over the world.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Pakistanis in Norway speak Punjabi, but there are some who prefer Urdu.
Initially the Urdu in Pakistan came to Norway as guest workers in the 1970s. Most of these were young men. As time progressed, Norway allowed these young men's families to join them. It was at one time the practice of Pakistanis to get a wife from the old country, but this practice is decreasing year by year.
Today, many Pakistani wives are also employed, especially those who have been there for a generation. Pakistanis are sometimes discriminated against in Norway's job market as indicated by the smaller percentage of those with Pakistani names who are granted job interviews.
Parents of these Urdu offspring pressure them to get a good education and become lawyers, doctors or engineers. As often happens, the second generation is caught between parents who raise them with the values of the old country and the more liberal values of the new country. Even those who are born and raised in Norway cling to religious values Islamic through their political beliefs are very diverse.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Although the Urdu are all Muslims, this is no longer a unifying factor. There are intense differences among the various Muslim sects (the Hanafites, Shafiites, and Ithna-Asharis).
Since entire communities tended to migrate together, different Islamic sects are found in different countries. For example, in Turkey and South Africa, the Urdu speakers are almost completely Sunni Muslims; whereas in Canada and in Pakistan, they are almost completely Hanafite Muslims.

What Are Their Needs?

The Urdu speakers in Norway need the chance to respond to the wonderful grace of Jesus. That is very hard for them to do when there is so much community pressure to not deviate from the Islamic religious system.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers to the Urdu speakers in Norway.
Pray for persons of peace among the Urdu people who will accept Christ's ambassadors.
Pray for a massive movement to Christ among Urdu speakers this decade leading to spiritual and physical blessings in Christ.
Pray for resources like the JESUS Film and Urdu language broadcasts to become widely available.

Text Source:   Joshua Project