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Arab, Tajiki in Afghanistan

Arab, Tajiki

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Arab, Tajiki in Afghanistan map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
19,000 Arabic, Tajiki Spoken Islam 0.20 % 0.20 % No No   

Arab, Tajiki in Afghanistan

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Introduction / History
Today, most of the world's Tajiks live in Tajikistan, Central Asia. However, many formerly lived in Afghanistan. After the Soviet Union's invasion and occupation of Afghanistan (from 1979 to 1988), fighting continued between Afghan groups seeking power. It was during this period of chaos and violence that up to five million Afghans fled to Pakistan; more than one million of whom were Tajiks.

The Afghani Tajiks are an Indo-Iranian people who have light skin and black hair. However, intermarriage has greatly influenced their features. The Tajiks are closely related to the Persians of Iran, and speak a dialect of Farsi, the Persian language.

While many Tajik refugees settled in Pakistan, others remained in refugee camps, waiting for the situation in Afghanistan to stabilize enough for them to return home. All of those now living in Pakistan reside in a long, narrow strip on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

What are their lives like?
Most of the Afghani Tajiks are farmers or herdsmen. The farmers raise cotton, barley, wheat, and various grains. They live in small villages that consist of flat roofed mud or stone houses. Some of the villagers follow a semi-nomadic way of life. In the winter they remain in the villages, whereas in the summer they take their herds to higher altitudes. A few Tajiks live in the major cities and work as merchants or highly skilled craftsmen. Since fleeing to Pakistan, some Afghani Tajiks have been forced to work at whatever odd jobs they can find.

Tajik men typically wear turbans over brightly embroidered caps. Instead of covering their faces with veils, like most Muslim women, Tajik women cover their heads with shawls. The women who live in cities usually wear sack-like dresses that cover them from head to toe.

The Tajiks take great pride in their ethnic heritage. Their Indo-Iranian physical features and their language are very different from other ethnic groups in Central Asia. Preserving tradition is very important to Tajiks, and they use folklore to pass their customs to the next generation.

Tajik families are generally quite large. It is not uncommon for families to have seven or eight children. Marriages are still arranged by the parents, and wedding ceremonies follow the traditional Tajik customs.

What are their beliefs?
The Afghani Tajiks are overwhelmingly Muslim. Most are Sunni Muslims of the Hanafite sect, but there also are a few Ismaili Shi'ites among them. The Sunni Muslims are much more orthodox in their beliefs than the Shi'ites, who believe in human free will.

Islam completely permeates the lives of the Tajik, governing what they eat, how they act, and how the women dress. They also observe Islamic rituals that are related to birth, puberty, marriage, and death. They faithfully repeat memorized prayers five times each day, facing Mecca, Islam's holy city.

In addition to their Islamic beliefs, many of the Tajik practice spiritism (practices that make use of charms and amulets).

What are their needs?
The majority of Pakistan's Afghani Tajiks have staggering physical needs. They suffer with unsanitary living conditions and poor water. The literacy rate among them is quite low.

Most of the Tajiks wish to return to their homeland, but fighting still rages across much of Afghanistan. Their land is overflowing with millions of land mines, and it is very likely that many of the Afghani Tajik villages have been destroyed.

The Islamic religion is very difficult to influence. Converts to Christianity are often banished from their families. As a result, Christians only make up a very slight percentage of the Afghani Tajik population.

Prayer Points
Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into Pakistan to share the Gospel with Afghani Tajiks.
Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to missions agencies focusing on the Afghani Tajiks.
Pray that God will give the Afghani Tajik believers boldness to share Christ with their own people.
Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil through worship and intercession.
Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Afghani Tajik church for the glory of His name!
* Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.

View Arab, Tajiki in all countries.

Prayer Links
  Submit Update:
Country: Afghanistan
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Central
Persecution Rank:9 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Balkh province: Dawlatabad district, Khushalabad, Yakhdan; Jowzjan province: Mingajik district, Sultan Arigh; Sheberghan district, Hasanabad.
(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: Arab, Tajiki
People Name General: Arab, Tajiki
Alternate People Names:
ArabBalkh Arab
Central Asian ArabTajiki Spoken
Tajikistani, Arab-SpeakingTaziki
ROP3 Code: 109734
Joshua Project People ID: 15202
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 19,000
Population all Countries: 21,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
People Cluster: Arab World, general
People Name General: Arab, Tajiki
Ethnic Code: CMT30
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Arabic, Tajiki Spoken
Language Code (ISO): abh    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Dari (Unknown)Tajik (Unknown)
Total Languages: 3
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Sub-division:Sunni
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.20 %(Evangelical: 0.20 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.80 % 
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
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 RecordingsArabic Bible Online
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Text / Printed MatterTools for faith conversations
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

Arab, Tajiki in Afghanistan

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Arab World, general     Asia, Central    
      Arab, Tajiki Afghanistan    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Arab, Tajiki in Afghanistan          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Arabic, Tajiki Spoken  
    All Religions                              

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