Kashmiri, Muslim traditions in Pakistan






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Kashmiri live in Kashmir, a breathtaking region that is located in the western Himalayan Mountains of northwestern India and northeastern Pakistan. Unfortunately, this is a highly disputed area. It has been a battleground between India, Pakistan, and China since the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. When India and Pakistan were divided, Kashmir was given the choice of siding with either of the two countries. Since the ruling class was Hindu, they sided with India. However, most of the people were Muslims and felt more alliance to Pakistan. Today, parts of Kashmir are controlled by India, parts by Pakistan, and parts by China; and fierce fighting continues among the three. More than ninety percent of Kashmir is mountainous. It includes the Karakorum Range, which contains K2, the second highest peak in the world. Most of the region is under snow and glaciers all year due to its extreme elevation.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Kashmiri primarily live in rural regions; only about one fifth live in cities. They are descendants of Indo-Aryan immigrants and are generally tall, fair skinned, and have features like the people of Central Asia.

Most of the Kashmiri are peasant farmers. They raise rice, wheat, maize, barley, lentils, and fruit such as apples, peaches, and apricots. The lakes of Kashmir supply many fish and water chestnuts. Sheep, goats, and yaks are raised at higher elevations. These flocks produce cashmere, a rich wool that is also very popular in the West. The men primarily tend to the farms, and the women usually stay home and tend to the household chores.

Because most Kashmiri villages lie in remote areas, festival celebrations and pilgrimages to shrines are times for uniting the communities. The villagers enjoy gathering around a fire and sharing folk tales or ballads. They also enjoy music and dancing. Cricket and soccer have become some of their favorite sports.

Extended families commonly live together. Their house styles vary with the elevation. In mountainous areas where there is much snow, the roofs are triangular and steep. Houses in the rural valley regions often have storage areas for grain, fodder, fuel, wood, leaves, charcoal, and dried dung. All of these materials are necessary when winter conditions become severe. The homes are usually built out of stone, brick, thatch, and timber.

The Kashmiri are very hospitable people and enjoy entertaining guests over tea. Their diet is similar to that of other Indians. Wood, dung, and kerosene are the main sources of fuel for cooking.

In addition to farming, many of the Kashmiri are skilled crafters of wood furniture, wool carpets, and sweaters. Industrial development is limited in Kashmir, but the large number of timber forests and rivers are used for producing hydro-electric power. Tourism is also an important industry, although it has declined in recent years because of the violence in the region.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most of the Kashmiri are devout Sunni Muslims, who follow a strict code of conduct. They are convinced that the Bible is wrong because it contradicts the Koran. Those who convert to Christianity are viewed as immoral, degenerate people; Christians in this region are often persecuted. Many Kashmiri have heard of Jesus Christ, but view him merely as a prophet and teacher.

Pakistan is a nation that was founded with a specific purpose: to create a separate nation for the Muslims of Indian. Islam is not just a religion there; it is a way of life. The word of Allah is believed to have supernatural power, and is used to ward off or cure any kind of trouble or sickness.

What Are Their Needs?

Today, there are only a relative few known Kashmiri believers in this region. The Islamic stronghold over them will only be broken down through prayer.

Prayer Points

* Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to the missions agencies that are currently working among the Kashmiri.
* Pray that the God will give the Kashmiri believers boldness to share the Gospel with their own people.
* Ask God to deliver the Christians in the Kashmir region from persecution.
* Pray for the effectiveness of the Jesus film among the Kashmiri.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Pray that God will give these precious people a revelation of who Jesus truly is: their Lord and Christ.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Kashmiri Church for the glory of His name!

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-11-12
Video Links:
The Greatest Sacrifice
People Name General Kashmiri, Muslim traditions
People Name in Country Kashmiri, Muslim traditions
Population in Pakistan 1,272,000
World Population 8,674,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Kashmiri-Punjabi, Keshur, Khoja, Mansoori, Mansoori Muslim, Shia Imami Ismaili
Country Pakistan
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 8  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Jammu and Kashmir, south of Shina..   Source:  www.ethnologue.com
Total States on file:  8  (up to 20 largest shown)
Azad Kashmir (521,000) Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (313,000) Punjab (190,000) Gilgit-Baltistan (173,000)
Sindh (71,000) Islamabad (3,200) Balochistan (600) Federally Administer (500)
Total States on file:  8  (up to 20 largest shown)
Azad Kashmir (521,000) Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (313,000)
Punjab (190,000) Gilgit-Baltistan (173,000)
Sindh (71,000) Islamabad (3,200)
Balochistan (600) Federally Administer (500)
Languages & Dialects on file:  21  (up to 20 largest shown)
Urdu (436,000) Hindko, Northern (165,000) Pashto, Northern (162,000) Shina (123,000)
Kashmiri (110,000) Khowar (63,000) Pashto, Central (49,000) Balti (47,000)
Gujari (21,000) Shina, Kohistani (18,000) Hindko, Southern (7,000) Bateri (3,800)
Burushaski (2,500) Kohistani, Indus (1,400) Kalasha (600) Panjabi, Western (600)
Domaaki (400) Kalami (400) Chilisso (400) Kamviri (200)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Urdu 436,000 Hindko, Northern 165,000
Pashto, Northern 162,000 Shina 123,000
Kashmiri 110,000 Khowar 63,000
Pashto, Central 49,000 Balti 47,000
Gujari 21,000 Shina, Kohistani 18,000
Hindko, Southern 7,000 Bateri 3,800
Burushaski 2,500 Kohistani, Indus 1,400
Kalasha 600 Panjabi, Western 600
Domaaki 400 Kalami 400
Chilisso 400 Kamviri 200
For Primary Language: Urdu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1747-1894)
New Testament Yes   (1758-2000)
Complete Bible Yes   (1843-1998)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Visuals General
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Revised Urdu Bible Text / Printed Matter
Bible: UGV Devanagari Text / Printed Matter
Bible: اردو جیو ورژن Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Text / Printed Matter
Four Spiritual Laws General
God's Story Video Film / Video
Gods Simple Plan General
Got Questions Ministry General
International Bible Society Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Urdu Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Online New Testament - Easy to Read (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Online New Testament - Pakistan Bible Society (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.83 %
99.17 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Matt Brandon   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Video Source: Create International
Profile Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

Copyright © 2015 Joshua Project.  A ministry of Frontier Ventures.