Introduction / History
Passionate is a word that well describes much about the Pashtun tribes, who originated in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They are said to love or hate with equal intensity, displaying fierce loyalty to friends, yet defending the right of badal (revenge or blood feuds) where enemies are concerned. An old proverb reveals much, "He is no Pashtun who does not give a blow for a punch." Thus, it is no surprise that the infamous Taliban fighters of Afghanistan are almost all Pashtun.
Perhaps in Chile, the Pashtuns will find common ground with the Chileans, who were traditionally the toughest fighters in Latin America. Chile has become a peaceful, prosperous nation, so perhaps the Pashtuns can learn from the Chileans how to make that essential transition.
Where are they located?
The vast majority of the Pashtuns still live in either Afghanistan or Pakistan, but since 1979, there has been a large number moving to safer parts of the world like Santiago, Chile.
What are their lives like?
Afghan refugees are given job training when they arrive in Chile so they can become gainfully employed. Many now work as truck drivers, salesmen, or in retail businesses.
Though it is difficult, Pashtuns around the world want their young adults to marry a Pashtun from Pakistan or Afghanistan. Usually when a Pashtun lives outside their homeland for an extended period of time their expectations for marriage and family life changes.
What are their beliefs?
Members of the Islamic religion are very difficult to influence. Pashtuns who decide to follow Christ are likely to be banished from their families. Consequently, there have been very few spiritual inroads among the Pashtuns wherever they live, including Chile.
What are their needs?
Pashtuns need the Holy Spirit to do what only He can do: Open their eyes so they can see Jesus as he really is.
* Pray for God to call Chilean believers to reach out to the Muslim Pashtun community.
* Pray that God will encourage and protect the small number of Pashtun believers wherever they live.
* Ask God to soften the hearts of the Pashtun towards believers so that they will be open to the gospel.
* Pray for an unstoppable disciple making movement among the Pashtuns that will affect their communities in Chile.
Text source: Keith Carey