Afshari in Afghanistan





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Afshari are decendents of the Azerbaijani people of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is in the Caucasus Mountains and was part of the former Soviet Union. Today the Azerbaijani live from the Caucasus to the Iranian plateau. The Afshari language is of Turkic origin and adopts some Persian words. It is also related to the Azerbaijani language.

Where Are they Located?

The Afshari people can be found in Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, and Turkey. In Afghanistan, Afshari is spoken in parts of Kabul and Herat. Part of the Qizibash merchant group speak this language and are bilingual in Persian or Pashto.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Afshari men practice animal husbandry. The Afshari women are skilled carpet weavers. The women make rugs, runners, and other pieces to sell. The colors used are red, ivory, khaki, burgundy, and navy blue. Strong geometric patterns are used.

Afshari families live in tents made of black goat hair. They move between winter and summer pastures. The Afshari's traditionally migrated on camels or horses but more recently they move around on trucks and motorcycles. Radio is an important contact with the outside world.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Afshari people are from the ithna ashari tradition of Islam, a branch of Shia Muslim. Shia's believe that Ali was the proper descendent of Muhammad. Other Ashari are Hanafi Muslims. Hanafi is one of the four major schools of Sunni Muslim. Hanafi is the largest of these schools and puts a greater emphasis on opinion and reason. Afshari hold to historical sites and believe in the spiritual community of Islam. Muslim Afshari women have more freedom than others and often work outside the home.

Prayer Points

* Pray that Afshari language Christian broadcasts would reach seeking ears.
* Pray that Afshari would accept the message of Christ and have the opportunity to grow in Him.
* Pray for the birth and growth of the Afshari church.


Profile Source:   Rachel Routt  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-11-01
People Name General Afshari
People Name in Country Afshari
Population in Afghanistan 13,000
World Population 372,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Turkic Peoples
People Cluster Azerbaijani
People Name General Afshari
Ethnic Code MSY41a
People ID 19409
Country Afghanistan
Region Central Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 5  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Afshari in small groups north of Kabul, Chandaul quarter of Kabul City, Herat City.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

No people group map currently available. Use the above button to submit a map.

Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Azerbaijani, South: Afshari Dari
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Azerbaijani, South: Afshari Dari
For Primary Language: Azerbaijani, South

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes
New Testament Yes
Complete Bible Yes   (2013)
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Azeri Scripture Resources Text / Printed Matter
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Iranian Azeri Bible Text / Printed Matter
Got Questions Ministry General
Jesus Film: view in Azerbaijani, South Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
Network of Azerbaijani Partnerships Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Subdivision: Sunni

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.04 %)
0.04 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
99.96 %
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: Frontiers  
Profile Source: Rachel Routt  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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