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Mazanderani, Tabri in Iran

Mazanderani, Tabri

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Mazanderani, Tabri in Iran map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
2,419,000 Mazandarani Islam 1.20 % 1.14 % No No   

Mazanderani, Tabri in Iran

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Introduction / History
The Mazanderani live in northern Iran's Mazandaran province, bordering the Caspian Sea. It is there that early Iranian civilization flourished. Historically, this province had been invaded by outsiders, beginning with the Mongols in the 1200s and 1300s. In 1723, the region was conquered by the Russian Empire. The coast of the province is dominated by marshy plains. Farther inland, it merges into the highlands. Although the province is strategically located on the Caspian Sea, the coast lacks good natural harbors. This has forced them to build an artificial harbor.

The Mazanderani are an ethnic mix of Turkic tribes, Armenians, and Russian immigrants. Other smaller groups include the Qadikolahi and the Palavi. The language of the majority, also called Mazanderani (or Palari), remains unwritten. This language is closely tied to Farsi, the official language of Iran.

What are their lives like?
Agriculture dominates the economy of the entire Mazandaran region. Most Mazanderani are settled farmers who grow crops such as rice, wheat, barley, tea, fruits, and cotton. They also raise some cattle. In addition to farming, the Mazanderani are famous for raising Arabian horses.

The mid-1970s saw a number of agricultural reforms in Mazandaran province. Farming became a large-scale business operation that included the production, processing, and distribution of agricultural products, as well as the manufacturing of farm machinery, equipment, and supplies. At the same time, major agricultural movements were encouraged by the influx of large investments that were made as a result of the oil boom. Many new businesses were introduced, including cement, textile, and cotton industries. Fisheries also sprang up all along the coastal areas. Today, the coastal fisheries of this region harvest some of the finest caviar in the world.

Although many Mazanderani farmers are settled, some maintain the nomadic lifestyle of their ancestors. These nomads use the higher, cultivated regions for grazing their animals. Their herds include a certain breed of humped cattle, as well as buffalo, which are used as beasts of burden.

Since most of the people in the Mazandaran province are Muslim, their society is organized according to the guidelines of traditional Islamic communities. The family is the major social unit and is led by the father. Although the Koran gives women equal status in Islamic society, in reality, they are usually second class citizens with little or no political freedom.

What are their beliefs?
Although Mazandaran was the last province in Iran to be converted to Islam, the Mazanderani are now virtually all Muslim. They belong to the Ithna-Ashari sect of Islam and their independent character makes them unique in Iran.

As Muslims, the Mazanderani believe in one omnipotent god, Allah. They are taught that the ultimate purpose of humanity is to worship him and to build a social order that is not corrupt. Their religious practices include praying, fasting, giving to the poor, and making a pilgrimage to Mecca. They hold the imams (religious rulers claiming descent from Mohammed) in very high esteem, since they believe that only the imams can interpret the true meaning of the Koran.

What are their needs?
Many of the Mazanderani are uneducated. The fact that their language is not yet in written form presents a roadblock to their cultural and spiritual progress. Perhaps Christian teachers will have the greatest opportunity to work among this people group. There is a university in the town of Babol that may provide open doors for linguists who are willing to create a written script for the Mazanderani language.

Prayer is the key to seeing these precious people reached with the Good News.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to Iran and share Christ with the Mazanderani.
* Pray for the salvation of key Mazanderani leaders who will boldly proclaim the Gospel.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Mazanderani towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Pray that God will open the hearts of Iran's governmental leaders to the Gospel.
* Ask the Lord to raise up intercessors who will faithfully stand in the gap for the Mazanderani.
* Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Mazanderani.
* Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language.

View Mazanderani, Tabri in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-10-02
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-11-27
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-10-06
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Country: Iran
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Central
Persecution Rank:9 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:North near Caspian Sea, Mazandaran Province; some also in Semnan and Golestan provinces.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Mazanderani, Tabri
People Name General: Mazanderani
Alternate People Names:
Tabari Tabri
ROP3 Code: 106450
Joshua Project People ID: 13610
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 2,419,000
Population all Countries: 2,419,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
People Cluster: Persian
People Name General: Mazanderani
Ethnic Code: CNT24z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Mazandarani (2,419,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): mzn    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity1.20 %(Evangelical: 1.14 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam98.80 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 3   Less than 2% Evangelical. Widespread church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Ministry Activity
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Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Mazanderani, Tabri in Iran

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Persian     Asia, Central    
      Mazanderani Iran    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Mazanderani, Tabri in Iran          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Mazandarani  
    All Religions                              

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