Gilaki in Azerbaijan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Gilaki language and culture is closely related to the Mazandarani, another ethnic group from Iran's northern Gilan province. Their ancient cultural language (also called Gilaki or Gilani) remains unwritten. They might speak their heart language at home, but among the general public the Gilaki people speak Azeri or Farsi, the national languages of Iran and Azerbaijan.
They are primarily located in Iran's northern Gilan province, although a small number live in nearby Azerbaijan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The basis of the Gilaki economy is agriculture. Gilaki farmers usually grow rice, tea, and tobacco. Those who live in Azerbaijan must deal with being a small minority.

The inhabitants of Gilan Province have often been the source of resistance and reform movements within Iran.
What Are Their Beliefs?

Shia practices tend toward the ecstatic. They affirm human free will, and they differ with the Sunni Muslims in matters of law and ceremony. Unlike the Sunnis, Shias believe that Mohammad's successor should be someone in his bloodline, namely Ali. Because some of their leaders have faced violent, martyr's death, Shias understand that a righteous man can be killed by the unrighteous. For this reason, Christ's death on a Roman cross isn't as foreign to them as it is to Sunnis. Only about 15 percent of the world's Muslims are Shia; most of the rest are Sunni.
To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship.

What Are Their Needs?

The Gilaki people need to be given the chance to hear the life-changing gospel so they can enjoy life to the full.

Prayer Points

Pray for loving gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Gilaki people for Jesus and that in God's sovereign timing the hearts of these people would be open and ready to follow him.
Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended families so the gospel will spread rapidly.
Pray for the spiritual lives of the Gilaki people to become fruitful so others will be drawn to Jesus Christ.

Scripture Prayers for the Gilaki, Gilani in Azerbaijan.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Gilaki, Gilani
People Name in Country Gilaki, Gilani
Natural Name Gilaki
Pronunciation gee-LAH-kee
Alternate Names
Population this Country 4,800
Population all Countries 3,120,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 11890
ROP3 Code 103369
ROP25 Code 302696
ROP25 Name Gilaki
Country Azerbaijan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Azerbaijan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Gilaki (4,800 speakers)
Language Code glk   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Gilaki (4,800 speakers)
Language Code glk   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Gilaki
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  Mohammad_Nouri - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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