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 mainly staffed by the Pashtuns.
But the excesses of war have taken a terrible toll on the Pashtuns in Afghanistan. Destruction and poverty have driven many of them out of the country. Those with desirable marketable skills in business and technology are the first to leave for countries like New Zealand. Most of these Pashtuns have had enough of war, and they are ready for change.
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 New Zealand.
What are their lives like?
Many of the new arrivals from Afghanistan in New Zealand are not Pashtuns, but Hazaras, an ethnic group that is at odds with them. Pray that there will be peace between the two rival ethnic groups. There has been a lot of bloodshed between them for the last 200 years, and old slights are not easily forgotten.
What are their beliefs?
Pashtuns have their own code of honor called Pashtunwali, which they have embraced for thousands of years. This code of honor involves personal honor, revenge, and hospitality to strangers. Pashtunwali tends to become weaker for those who live in urban areas, and especially for those who have migrated out of the country. However, Sunni Islam is still a central part of Pashtun identity.
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 peace in the hearts of Pashtun peoples who have recently arrived in New Zealand.
* Ask God to call those who are willing to go to New Zealand and share Christ with the Pashtun people.
* Ask God to soften the hearts of the Pashtuns 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 New Zealand.
ReferencesView Pashtun, Northern in all countries.