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Persian in Bahrain


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Persian in Bahrain map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
192,000 Persian, Iranian Islam 1.00 % 0.80 %   

Persian in Bahrain

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Introduction / History
While it is true that Persians dominate the country of Iran, many others live scattered throughout the Middle East in such countries as Iraq and Bahrain. The Persians living in Bahrain are the second largest people group of that country; however, they are still a minority since they make up a small percentage of its population. Bahrain, a predominantly Arab country, is made up of a cluster of more than 30 desert islands off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia. These islands are located in the heart of the Persian Gulf.

Centuries ago, Persians migrated south from the area near the Caspian Sea into regions west of the Persian Gulf. These regions are known today as Iran and Afghanistan. By 500 BC, they had built a powerful empire that governed most of the known world. They called themselves Aryans, from which we get the word Iran. Later they became known as Persians, which comes from the Greek word Persis, or name of the region.

Their language, Farsi, is a combination of the old Persian language mixed with Arabic.

What are their lives like?
Most Bahrainis live in apartments or houses in towns located on the northern part of the largest island, also called Bahrain. Since wood is scarce, they build homes of cement and lime brick. These houses are usually tall and are built with wind towers to catch the breeze. Villagers, on the other hand, generally live in thatched huts.

The islands receive only three inches of rainfall a year, but fresh underground springs along the northern coast of Bahrain provide ample water to drink and to irrigate crops.

Bahrain is more cosmopolitan than other Middle Eastern countries and its people enjoy a relatively high standard of living. The government provides free education, medical care, and a superior electrical system. Most households have air conditioners, refrigerators, televisions, radios, and telephones. Families usually eat one main meal a day that includes vegetables, lamb, fish, and rice.

Muslims have a solemn respect for marriage and family, which makes divorce less common among Persians than among people living in Western countries.

What are their beliefs?
Traditionally, Persians worshipped the gods of nature. Gradually they turned toward the teachings of Zoroaster, a prophet who lived between 1400 and 1000 BC. During the seventh century AD, however, Arabs introduced the Persians to Islam. Today almost all Persians in Bahrain follow Islam, most belonging to the Shiah branch.

For the Muslim, religion is culture and culture is religion. Therefore, if a Muslim even considers joining another religion such as Christianity, it is as if he has turned his back on his own culture. Converts to Christianity are often disowned by their families and their people.

What are their needs?
Bahrain has capitalized on the petroleum industry since 1932, but oil reserves are diminishing. Fishing has declined due to pollution in the Gulf. Because of these changes, Bahrain is diversifying, building industry and becoming a banking center for the Middle East. Opportunities for foreign businesses in Bahrain mean opportunities for Christian business people to share the Gospel there.

Television and radio programs broadcast mostly in Arabic, although some English programs come out of Saudi Arabia. English Bibles, Christian literature, and programs in English may be used as long as they show sensitivity to the Persian culture. Several ministry groups are producing materials to reach Muslims in both English and Farsi. However, their culture is so intertwined with the Islamic religion that it is difficult for them to accept another world view.

What Keeps Us From Reaching Them?
Bahrain is an independent Arab sheikdom (territorially governed by leaders called sheiks). Its constitution guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion, but parts of the constitution have been overruled by the sheiks.

Bahraini Muslims strictly adhere to the Koran and consider the moral values of Western Christians to be pagan. For this reason, they are leery of opening up to them.

Persians are an ambitious people with ingenuity, determination and commitment. Every Persian brought to Christ becomes a powerful ally for the cause of Christ among the Muslims.

Why should you care? Because thousands of Bahraini Persians do not know Jesus as their Savior.

Prayer Points
Pray they will know the Truth that sets people free.
Ask God to create a hunger in the hearts of the Persians and an openness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pray that God will raise up laborers who understand the Muslim culture and who can effectively take the Gospel to them.
Pray that the Holy Spirit will multiply the effectiveness of the Jesus film in Bahrain.
Pray that Christians who live near and among the Bahraini Persians will be bold in sharing their faith in Jesus.
Pray that God will open doors for Christian business people to share the Gospel with the Persians of Bahrain.
Pray that a strong Christian work will be established among Bahraini Persians.

View Persian in all countries.

Prayer Links
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Country: Bahrain
Continent: Asia
Region: Africa, North and Middle East
10/40 Window: Yes
Submit Map:
Country Map:Political map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Persian
People Name General: Persian
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 107987
Joshua Project People ID: 14371
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 192,000
Population all Countries: 46,617,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
People Cluster: Persian
People Name General: Persian
Ethnic Code: CNT24f
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Persian, Iranian (192,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): pes    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Sub-division:Shia
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity1.00 %(Evangelical: 0.80 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.00 % 
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 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1546-1965
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1838-2020
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Audio RecordingsDAVAR Partners recording, complete Bible
Audio RecordingsGeneral Ministry Resources
Audio RecordingsOnline Audio Scripture
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoGod's Story video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Persian, Iranian
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMagdalena video
Film / VideoMy Last Day video, anime
Film / VideoRivka video
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Film / VideoWorld Christian Videos
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralBiblical answers to your questions
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralWalk with the Prophets and meet the Mess ...
GeneralZume Resources
GeneralZume Training
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Text / Printed MatterBible Gateway scripture
Text / Printed MatterBible: Comic Book Version
Text / Printed MatterBible: Persian, Iranian
Text / Printed MatterBible: Persian, Iranian
Text / Printed MatterBible: Persian, Iranian
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed MatterTools for faith conversations
Text / Printed MatterTopical Scripture booklets and Bible stu ...
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Persian in Bahrain

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Persian     Africa, North and Middle East    
      Persian Bahrain    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Persian in Bahrain          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Persian, Iranian  
    All Religions                              

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