Rudbari in Iran

The Rudbari have only been reported in Iran
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Talysh peoples inhabit the northwestern regions of Iran and part of neighboring Azerbaijan. They occupy a land of sharp contrasts, ranging from the high, forested Talysh Mountains to the subtropical coastal land along the Caspian Sea. They refer to themselves as the Talushon. Although all of them speak their own Talysh dialect, most are also fluent in the local trade languages, especially Farsi. The Talysh have several subgroups, each with their own dialect, including the Rudbari. The Rudbari Talysh have lived in the southwest Caspian Sea region for thousands of years. They came under Turkish influence during the Middle Ages, but established their own independent khanate, or kingdom in the 1600s.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The lifestyles of the Talysh groups vary greatly due to the differences in their environments. However, regardless of the region in which they live, the majority of Rudbari are farmers. In some areas, rice is the primary crop; in others, they grow wheat and barley. They raise tea and citrus fruits in the lowlands near the Caspian Sea. Many of the Rudbari living in the lowlands cultivate fresh produce, including garlic, onions, pumpkins, melons, peas and grapes. Not all the Rudbari are farmers. Some have become skilled craftsmen. Their primary handicrafts include silk, rugs and felt. Some work with tin, make shoes or design jewelry.
The Rudbari live in various styles of houses, depending on the region in which they are located. Those in the mountainous areas typically live in flat-roofed homes built of uncut stone. Those in the coastal zone live in clay houses that have roofs made of reeds or sedge (grass-like plants with solid stems). The homes usually have high doors reaching to the ceiling, since there is no opening in the roof to allow smoke from the cooking fires to escape. The traditional Rudbari homes have no furniture. However, today, a growing number of homes have adopted Western-style furnishings.
Rudbari women once wore traditional Muslim clothing, which consisted of veils over their faces and long robes that completely covered their bodies. Today, many Rudbari women have abandoned the customary outfit and wear Western-style clothing. Although Islamic law permits men to have as many as four wives, most Rudbari men take only one wife. Boys usually marry while they are between the ages of 15 and 20. Girls usually wed while they are between the ages of 12 and 16. The groom's family is required to pay a bride-price, or kebin, which consists of money and items such as carpets or utensils. To avoid paying the kebin, a young man will sometimes "kidnap" the prospective bride, taking her as his wife.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Rudbari Talysh are virtually all Muslim, primarily of the Shia branch. They consider Jesus to be a prophet, a teacher, and a good man, but not God's only way to salvation. Since Islam is a religion of works, they believe that after death they will be judged by their good deeds and by their knowledge of the Koran. Like other Muslims, they observe the five "pillars" of Islam, which include affirming that Allah is the only god and Mohammed is his prophet, praying five times a day, giving alms, fasting, and making a pilgrimage to Mecca.
Although the Rudbari Talysh are professing Muslims, some remnants of their pre-Islamic religion remain. For example, they have a great reverence for trees and groves, and trees form some of their most sacred sites. They also believe in the presence of both good and evil spirits, with the most dangerous spirit being Alazhan, the "Red Woman. " Alazhan is believed to attack women during childbirth, as well as newborn babies.


What Are Their Needs?

Very few have had an opportunity to hear a clear presentation of the gospel. These precious people are in desperate need of biblical resources in their own language. There is a need for Holy Spirit-anointed and willing laborers to effectively reach these groups with the light of the gospel. Most importantly, they need people who will begin to faithfully intercede for them, tearing down the strongholds that are keeping them from the only Savior.


Prayer Points

Pray for intercessors to faithfully pray for the Talysh peoples of Iran and Azerbaijan.
Pray that God will send culturally sensitive ambassadors of Christ who will show the Rudbari Talysh people the way to the cross.
Pray for a movement to Christ to grow exponentially among this people group.
Pray for the Rudbari Talysh people to be blessed with peace, joy and spiritual prosperity as they follow Jesus Christ.


Scripture Prayers for the Rudbari in Iran.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Rudbari
People Name in Country Rudbari
Alternate Names
Population this Country 300
Population all Countries 300
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 18857
ROP3 Code 114708
ROP25 Code 307053
ROP25 Name Rudbari
Country Iran
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 9  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Zanjan Province, Sefid Rud valley.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Iran
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 9  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Zanjan Province, Sefid Rud valley..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
100.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Primary Language Rudbari (300 speakers)
Language Code rdb   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Rudbari (300 speakers)
Language Code rdb   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Rudbari

Primary Language:  Rudbari

Bible Translation Status:  Unspecified

Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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