Introduction / History The Pushtun (Pashtun or Pathan), are a large and distinctive Muslim community living primarily in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal. The Pushtun cluster of peoples is near 50 million individuals. The Northern Pushtun number over 30 million and live primarily in Pakistan and India. They trace their heritage all the way back to King Saul, the first Hebrew king. In Afghanistan many Taliban come from this ethnic group. Some Pushtun settled in the mountains of India and Nepal during their years of Muslim conquest.
What are their lives like? Many Pushtun today can be found as landowners across north India and Nepal. They have a mix of urban and rural ways of living; the rural being closer to their traditional nomadic and warrior-like ways. The Northern Pushtun keep to a long-held code of conduct called the Patkhtunwali or 'way of the Pushtun'. Courage, honour, risk-taking, assertiveness and hospitality are all key elements of the Patkhtunwali. They are virtually 100% Sunni Muslim in Nepal and India. The men wear turbans, colourful vests over long-sleeved shirts and loose-fitting trousers. Women wear a salwar and a headcovering called a 'chadar.' There are distinct clans and sub-clans within the Northern Pushtun and women are guarded closely against inter-marrying.
What are their needs? As devoted Muslims and sometimes fanatical Muslims the Northern Pushtun represent a significant challenge to the Nepal church. Pray for the supernatural witness of miracles and dreams to be used for bringing key individuals to Christ in this influential community. There are no known believers or workers among them in Nepal.