The Pashtun of Afghanistan & Pakistan

The Pashtun of Afghanistan & Pakistan

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About this People Group

Quick facts

  • Population: 32.5 Million
  • Language: Pashtun, Northern
  • Religion: Islam (99.98%), Evangelical Christian (0.01%)

The Pashtun, or Pushtun, are a race of warriors who live primarily in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are one of the largest unreached people groups in the world (23 mil) with many sub-people groups. They consist of about sixty tribes, each with its own territory. Although their origin is unclear, their legends say that they are the descendants of Afghana, grandson of King Saul.

The Pashtun are said to be elegant, colorfully attired, hospitable, considerate, fierce in hatred, and kind in friendship. Though very dedicated to their religious beliefs, they are also fond of pleasure. They are known for their marksmanship and their love of honor. At the core of Pashtun society is the extended family. They also wear unique turbans which are tied in such a way to indicate tribal identity. The Pashtun tribes range from the highly educated who live in cities to tent dwelling nomads.

Many of the Pashtun are extremely poor. Since their entire way of life is opposed to change, the Pashtun present one of the strongest challenges to the Christian Church today.

How to Pray

  • Ask God to raise up prayer teams that will break up the soil through
    worship and intercession.
  • Ask God to grant wisdom and favor to mission agencies that are focusing on the Pashtuns.
  • Pray for Pashtun children who grow up in fear and hatred of outsiders.
  • Ask God to encourage and protect the small number of believers.
  • Pray that God will provide greater peace and freedom to live and work
    among the Pashtun.
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