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Kalash (Chitrali) in Afghanistan

Kalash (Chitrali)

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Kalash (Chitrali) in Afghanistan map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
11,000 Khowar Islam 0.00 % 0.00 % No   

Kalash (Chitrali) in Afghanistan

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Introduction / History
Since the fifth century BC the Chitrali people have lived in the mountainous region that straddles Afghanistan and Pakistan, speaking their own Khowar language. For centuries they have grown fruit trees near their homes in order to offer luscious fruit to passers-by and visitors. Many of the Shia Muslim Chitralis have been forced to flee to refugee camps in the desert close to the Afghan border. The Chitralis have been streaming into Pakistani refugee camps, chased by Sunni Muslims.

Where are they located?
They reside in the mountains around the borders of China, Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. These northern tribes are believed to be the original inhabitants of this area.

What are their lives like?
They take much pride in their history and language and claim to have remained, for the most, independent throughout most of its history. The Kho are also known as the Black Kafir, Chitrali, Chitralis, Citrali, Khowar, Koh, Qashqari, or the Qasqari. They speak Khowar. The Kho, as well as the other northern tribes, are known as brave, quiet, peace loving people. Most live in rugged mountain regions, where farming is very difficult. They are mostly farmers and shepherds. Their primary crop is grain, however in the more irrigated areas they are able to raise barley, wheat, maize, millet, and rice. They can only rely on one annual crop, so they must rely on transhumant herding, which means they have to transfer their livestock from one place to another for grazing. During the summer, the livestock is herded to alpine areas. It is only during the winter that the Kho live together in compact villages. Many families have houses in four or five different areas at higher altitudes. The Kho are divided into three social classes. The upper class is the ruling nobility, the middle class tend to be landowners, and the lower-class work as tenant farmers or hired laborers. Most only marry within their own group. While the societies tend to be patrilineal, where the line of decent is traced through the men, the women are not as secluded as other groups within the country are. The women do much of the farm work.

What are their beliefs?
The Kho people are mostly Sunni Muslims. However, many combine Islamic practices with their traditional folk religions, which involves worship of spirits and fire, animism, and ancestor worship. Many consult shamans, priests, to cure the sick, communicate with spirits, and manipulate the spirits to control events. There are no known churches among the Kho.

What are their needs?
The Kho are an isolated group due to the rugged terrain and political borders. Portable drinking water, sewage disposal, and drainage facilities are available for a small percentage of the northern tribe's population, which has led to many health problems. Poor nutrition is also a problem in the area.

Prayer Points
Pray for workers to do whatever it takes to take Jesus to this isolated Muslim people group. Pray for Kalash leaders to welcome Christ's ambassadors into their community. Pray for a Disciple Making Movement to flourish among the Khalash people this decade. Pray for opportunities for Christ's children to be a blessing to this Muslim people group.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.

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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:Northern Afghanistan, the majority living in the northern provinces of Badakhshan, Kunduz, Balkh, and Takhar.
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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: Kalash (Chitrali)
People Name General: Kalash (Chitrali)
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 104950
Joshua Project People ID: 19437
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 11,000
Population all Countries: 39,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Muslim - other
People Name General: Kalash (Chitrali)
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Khowar (11,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): khw    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam100.00 % 
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
Engagement Status:Unengaged (per Finishing the Task)
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: 2021
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
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
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Khowar
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

Kalash (Chitrali) in Afghanistan

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    South Asia Muslim - other     Asia, Central    
      Kalash (Chitrali) Afghanistan    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Kalash (Chitrali) in Afghanistan          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Khowar  
    All Religions                              

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