The Baloch of Afghanistan

The Baloch of Afghanistan


About this People Group

Quick facts

  • 650,000 (another 680,000 live in Iran)
  • Language: Balochi
  • Religion: Islam (99.99%), Christian (0.01%)

The Baloch (Baluch) are a most ancient semi-nomadic tribal group who eventually occupied an area of land stretching through Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Today Afghan Baloch (designated the Western Baloch) live primarily in four southern provinces - Helmand, Nimruz, Farah and Kandahar, where daily life is routinely disrupted by Taliban presence.

Their national language is Balochi which remained unwritten until about 150 years ago. An honor code (Baluchmayar), passed down in songs and poetry and observed by all the tribes, defines principles of living regarding integrity, hospitality, mercy and honor.

Although a majority of Baloch are now Sunni Muslim (a faith adopted slowly to replace their old Zoroastrian religion), Sharia Law is not used to deal with social infractions.

Men are grain farmers and herders of sheep, goats and cattle. Some are known as superior camel breeders.

Largely overlooked today by government services, educational opportunities are limited; a small percentage of Baloch children (mostly boys) attend school but advancement beyond high school is rare. Since few can read or write, they are more likely to hold low-status jobs. Even so, an oral tradition of storytelling and poetry provides a rich thread in Baloch Culture.

How to Pray

  • Pray for the Gospel to come to the Baloch in a way that will connect with their culture and identity.
  • Pray for long-term workers to go to Afghanistan and for the Baloch to be receptive to the Gospel.
  • Pray that God will raise up teams from SA to find ways to stay long Term.
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