Urdu in South Africa


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Aryan tribes entered India about 1500 BC mixing with mongoloids, Greeks and Huns. Through the generations this caused the Indian features of the people to gradually become more Caucasian and their languages to become more diverse. In later centuries Muslim influence promoted the linguistic change out of which the Urdu language eventually developed. Hindi and Urdu are similar languages, but they are divided by religious affiliation; Hindi is spoken by the Hindu peoples while Urdu is spoken by Muslims. Urdu is heavily laden with Persian and Arabic words and is written in the Persian script. Today when one thinks of South Asian Muslim languages, Urdu is the first one that comes to mind. Urdu is seldom a heart language, but it is the trade language of Pakistan.
Urdu speakers come from all walks of life, but they usually originate in either Pakistan or northern India. The Urdu possess a sense of group identity based on cultural and historical factors: the Islamic religion, a Persian cultural tradition, the Urdu language, and the tradition of Muslim supremacy in northern India.
In recent years many Urdu-speaking Muslims have emigrated to Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, searching for economic opportunities. Skilled laborers and highly educated professionals among them have also emigrated to Western Europe, North America, and British Commonwealth countries all over the world. Most Pakistanis in South Africa, the Urdu speakers among them, live in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Gauteng, Durban, and Grahamstown.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Pakistani Urdu speakers in South Africa are noted for their small businesses selling groceries, electronics, cell phones, and Japanese cars. There are others who have gained notoriety through their involvement with South Asian-based crime syndicates.
There is a Pakistani South Africa Association to represent the interests of Pakistanis who speak Urdu, Punjabi, or whatever. For example, during the covid crisis in 2020-21, they distributed food and medicine packages to those in need.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Although the Urdu are all Muslims, this is no longer a unifying factor. There are intense differences among the various Sunni Muslim sects. Since entire communities tended to migrate together, different Islamic sects are found in different countries. For example, in Turkey and South Africa, the Urdu speakers are almost completely from one particular Sunni Muslim sect.


What Are Their Needs?

Like all people who depend on their works to be in good standing with the Almighty, Urdu speakers need to find a firm foundation. They need to put their trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross as the only way to have peace with God.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Urdu in South Africa.

Pray for a massive movement to Christ among Urdu speakers this decade leading to spiritual and physical blessings in Christ.
Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers to the Urdu speakers in South Africa.
Pray for persons of peace among the Urdu people who will accept Christ's ambassadors.
Pray for resources like the JESUS Film and Urdu language broadcasts to become widely available.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Urdu
People Name in Country Urdu
Pronunciation OOR-doo
Population this Country 15,000
Population all Countries 2,113,000
Total Countries 24
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Hindi; Islami; Muhajirs; Undri
People ID 15727
ROP3 Code 110423
Country South Africa
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country KwaZulu-Natal province: Durban coastal and urban areas; Gauteng province: Johannesburg area, and scattered smaller towns.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country South Africa
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country KwaZulu-Natal province: Durban coastal and urban areas; Gauteng province: Johannesburg area, and scattered smaller towns..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Urdu (15,000 speakers)
Language Code urd   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Urdu (15,000 speakers)
Language Code urd   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Urdu

Primary Language:  Urdu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1747-1894)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1758-2000)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1843-2007)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament - Pakistan Bible Society (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Audio Recordings Urdu Online Audio Bible
Film / Video God's Love Story
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Urdu
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
Film / Video The Savior 6 - The Lord's Prayer
Film / Video The Savior 8 - Jesus is Risen
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Got Questions Ministry
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
98.00 %
Non-Religious
2.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
Unknown
Independent
Unknown
Orthodox
Unknown
Other Christian
Unknown
Protestant
Unknown
Roman Catholic
Unknown
Photo Source (Representative photo)
Muzaffar_Somro - Pixabay  Creative Commons  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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