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.
The first Urdu people who came to the US came to work in agriculture and logging. The Luce-Celler Act of 1946 allowed them to obtain US citizenship. The INS Act of 1965 allowed Pakistanis with professional skills to work in the US, and their numbers increased dramatically. There was an influx of well-educated Pakistanis coming to the US during that time. More recently, there have been others who have entered the US as refugees, and they tend to take low paying jobs in places like New York City. There are a higher number of Urdu speakers in New York, Texas and California than the other US states.
The Urdu community is usually prosperous since so many are from a well-educated background. They are noted for their generosity and philanthropy. It is common for those with a medical background to practice medicine in the US. Often a Pakistani family will own a small business and employ extended family members to join them in the work. All Pakistanis try their best to become homeowners both for symbolic and economic reasons. Pakistani Americans have a good percentage of people who have served in the US military.
Islam is a central part of Urdu identity. Those who attend Sunni mosques have regular contact with Muslims from other ethnic communities. Most Urdu in the US are Sunni Muslim, but there are also some Shia and Ahmadiyyas among them. The latter are likely to be people who were looking for a safer place since they are persecuted by other Muslim communities in Pakistan.
Though they are fairly large in number and economically prosperous, they remain in the Islamic religious system, and few Christians in America will tell them about the savior who alone has the power to break the power of sin.
* Scripture Prayers for the Urdu in United States.
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 the USA.
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|
|Global Prayer Digest: 2008-05-23|
|Global Prayer Digest: 2016-05-23|
|Global Prayer Digest: 2020-07-31|
|People Name General||Urdu|
|People Name in Country||Urdu|
|Population this Country||523,000|
|Population all Countries||2,113,000|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|Frontier People Group||Yes|
|GSEC||1 (per PeopleGroups.org)|
|Pioneer Workers Needed||10|
|Alternate Names||Hindi; Islami; Muhajirs; Undri|
|Region||America, North and Caribbean|
|National Bible Society||Website|
|Persecution Rank||Not ranked|
Primary Language: Urdu
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible-New Testament||Yes (1758-2000)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum Bible Agencies|
|National Bible Societies|
|World Bible Finder|
|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|
|Major Religion ▲||Percent|
|Christianity (Evangelical 0.00 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|