Luri, Southern in Iran

Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Luri, Southern
Country: Iran
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 1,082,000
World Population: 1,082,000
Primary Language: Luri, Southern
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Luri-Bakhtiari
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Southern Luri people live in a place that was probably inhabited for thousands of years. The first written mention of the Luris was in the 10th century. History shows that their nomadism was originally a defense mechanism in order to avoid contact with outside powers and their invasions. In order to preserve themselves and their lifestyle, the Luris found it necessary to keep moving. Outside powers, like the Shahs of Iran, have been able to conquer the various Luri subgroups individually.

As the Mohammed Reza Shah consolidated his power over various parts of Iran, the Luri people suffered. They lost their semi-independent status, and their ability to move with their livestock. When oil was discovered in Luri territory, they were not given the profits from the oil; that money went to the elite in Tehran. This shah also deprived the Luri people of higher education.

Where Are they Located?

The Southern Luri people live only in Iran. Most of them live in the southwestern part of the country.

What Are Their Lives Like?

A good percentage of Iran's Luri people make their living by caring for sheep and goats. They make annual treks across the mountains of Iran, seeking verdant pastureland for their livestock. These journeys take them up the Zagros Mountains in the summer and down to the valleys during the winter.

The Southern Luris write beautiful poetry and music. They are excellent horsemen. They are proud of their ancestry, and most of them speak their own language called Lurs. Unfortunately, they are not good at business, and many of them are in heavy debt to urban traders which causes them to lose their livestock.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Ninety percent of Luri people in Iran are practicing Shi 'ite Muslims. Most of the others adhere to various different forms of Islam. They believe that shrines dedicated to "holy men" possess healing powers. Consequently, they visit these shrines once a year. Although gospel recordings in their language, there are no Bibles, missionaries, or fellowships among them.

What Are Their Needs?

The only Christian materials available to the Southern Luri people are gospel recordings. They need to have the chance to embrace the Savior of all mankind.

Prayer Points

Pray for Iranian believers to make sure the Southern Luri people have the chance to hear the story of His glory.
Pray for a movement to Christ among the Southern Luri people.
Pray that the Lord will bring about a new hunger for spiritual truth among the Southern Luris.
Pray that the shortcomings of Islam will become obvious to them, and that a large number of Luris will embrace the Lord.
Pray that soon they will have access to gospel recordings and radio broadcasts that will point them to the Good Shepherd.

Text Source:   Keith Carey