People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Astiani in Iran


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Astiani in Iran map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
28,000 Ashtiani Islam 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Astiani in Iran

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
The Islamic Republic of Iran is home to more than 80 million people divided into about 100 distinct ethnic groups. The largest percentage of people is Persian. They descended from the original Indo-Europeans who entered the country from Central Asia in the second millennium B.C. The remainder of the population consists of ethnic groups such as the Azeri, Gilaki, Mazandarani, and Kurds. Other groups include the Arab, Lur, Baluchi, and Turkmen. Numerous other groups compose a minute percentage of the total population.

In the mid-eleventh century, Iran was conquered by the Seljuk Turks under Togrul Beg. During the next four centuries, it was successively dominated by the Seljuks, the Mongols under Genghis Khan, Tamerlane and his Mongol hordes, and the Turkmen, resulting in a melting pot of ethnic groups. Like most Iranians, the Astiani speak an Indo-Iranian language (also called Ashtiani), but most are also fluent in Farsi (Persian).

What are their lives like?
The origins of the Astiani are unclear. However, they are known to live mainly as herdsmen in the Tafres area and to be closely related to the Vafsi.

More than half of Iran is either rugged terrain or wasteland, most of which is uninhabitable salt deserts. About one-tenth of the country is suitable for farming, and another one-fourth is suitable for grazing. Nearly one-third of the agricultural land area is irrigated, mostly in the hilly margins between desert and mountains.

Health conditions outside the capital are poor. Many small towns and rural areas suffer from unsanitary conditions and a shortage of medical personnel and facilities. Contagious diseases such as scarlet fever, whooping cough, pulmonary tuberculosis, and typhoid fever are prevalent. The infant mortality rate is a serious problem; it is very high by both international and Middle Eastern standards. Life expectancy is about 65 years for both sexes.

Some rural children never attend school because of either parental objections or a lack of facilities. The secondary school system is relatively undeveloped, and it serves mainly to prepare small numbers of students for university-level education.

The culture of Iran is heavily influenced by the Islamic religion, as is evident in the art, literature, and social structure of the country. After the 1979 revolution, the Shi'ite clergy led a drive for renewed Muslim practices. Women were ordered to return to more traditional roles, movie theaters were closed, and radio stations were prohibited from broadcasting music. The segregation of men and women at social functions was re-instituted. Many women again wore the traditional chador, a long black cloth that is draped over the head and body.

What are their beliefs?
The border of Iran is inhabited by ethnic minorities, who at times have been perceived to hold greater allegiance to their individual ethnic groups than to the national government. Arabs can be found in the southwest. The Baluchi in the southeast, the Turkmen in the northeast, and the Kurds in the west are all Sunni Muslims. Although they are Shi'ites, the Azeri have come into conflict with the politically active Iranian Shi'ite clergy. However, at other times, they have found common cause with them.

The official religion of Iran is the Shi'ite branch of Islam, which is followed by the great majority of the population. Some of the most sacred Shi'ite places are in Iran; the city of Qom, south of Teheran, is a noted place of pilgrimage.

What are their needs?
The Astiani do not have any Christian resources available to them in their own language. The nation of Iran remains closed to traditional missionary work. Only sustained prayer can open the doors of this Muslim nation to the Gospel.

Prayer Points
Pray that the doors of Iran will soon be opened to the preaching of the Gospel.
Pray for the hearts of the Astiani to be softened towards the Gospel message.
Ask the Lord to greatly multiply the efforts of the few Astiani believers as they share Christ with others.
Ask God to raise prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
Pray that many Christian fellowships will soon be planted among the Astiani.
* 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.
* Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.

View Astiani in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-11-20
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-11-19
  Submit Update:
Country: Iran
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Central
Persecution Rank:8 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Markazi Province, Ashtiyan and Tafresh.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
Submit Map:
Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Astiani
People Name General: Astiani
ROP3 Code: 100576
Joshua Project People ID: 10465
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 28,000
Population all Countries: 28,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
People Cluster: Talysh
People Name General: Astiani
Ethnic Code: CNT24z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Ashtiani (28,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): atn    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
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
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
None Reported
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
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

Astiani in Iran

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Talysh     Asia, Central    
      Astiani Iran    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Astiani in Iran          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Ashtiani  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: