Introduction / History This people are the small remains of a Turkic tribal people group that once ruled an empire. From 1794 to 1926 Qajar shahs ruled what is now Iran. In the early years of 19th century the Qajars fought two disastrous wars with Russia and lost territory in what is now Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The most able Qajar shah was Naser al-Din who ruled the second half of the 19th century. He tried to bring in Western technology and science into Iran but in the end his attempt failed. During WW1, Iran was occupied by the British, Russians and Ottoman Turks. Reza Pahlavi overthrew the last Qajar shah in 1925 and founded a new dynasty. The last Qajar ruler was exiled to France and died in 1930. Mohammed Mosaddegh, a member of the Qajar tribe, was prime minister of Iran until 1953 when Westerners help to depose him for nationalizing Iran's large oil business.
Some Qajars left Iran for other nations in 1925. Some Qajars stayed in Iran and now hold high governmental and business positions in the Islamic Republic.
Where are they located? Qajars live in northern Iran in and near Teheran. Other Qajars have emigrated from Iran to live in Europe, the UK and North America.
What are their lives like? Many Qajars are in elite positions in Iranian society such a diplomats, politicians, high ranking military officers, writers and entertainers. The Qajars encourage their children to get university educations. Qajar women have worked to obtain civil rights for Iranian women. Some less affluent, less educated Qajars live in villages in northwest Iran much like their ancestors.
Qajars tend to marry within their group. Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. Sons inherit property with the eldest son receiving his father's title and family home.
What are their beliefs? The Qajar are Shia Muslims. Both Sunnis and Shias agree that Allah is the one true God and that Muhammad was his messenger. One group, which eventually became the Shias, felt Muhammad's successor should be someone in his bloodline, while the other, which became the Sunnis, felt a pious individual who would follow the Prophet's customs was acceptable.
Islam is a major world religion that is based on five essential duties or "pillars": (1) A Muslim must affirm that "there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet." (2) Five times a day one must pray while facing Mecca. (3) One must give an obligatory percentage (very similar to tithes) on an annual basis. (4) One must fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year. (5) One must try to make at least one pilgrimage to Mecca in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited to drink alcohol, eat pork, gamble, steal, use deceit, slander, and make idols.
Educated Qajars are often more cultural and political than religious Muslims.
What are their needs? The Qajars must see that power and money do not bring the peace of mind they seek. They must come to understand that the rituals of Islam will not bring forgiveness from a holy God. The Qajars need to hear and understand the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.
Prayer Points * Pray for gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Qajar people in Iran for Jesus and that in God's sovereign timing their hearts would be open and ready to follow Him.
* Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended Qajar families so the gospel will spread rapidly among this people group.
* Pray for the spiritual lives of the Qajar people to become fruitful as they follow Christ.
* Pray for the lives and culture of the Qajar people to evidence the rule and reign of the Kingdom of God as they open to the gospel, and for the beauty of Jesus to be seen in them.