Burusho in Pakistan

The Burusho have only been reported in Pakistan
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

They speak a language isolate called Burushaski. Bible portions and the JESUS Film are available in Burushaski. A language isolate is a language that is unrelated to the languages spoken by surrounding peoples. The villages of the Burusho are hundreds of feet above the Hunza River. Travel is by narrow road. The two primary occupations of the Burusho are animal husbandry and agriculture. The Burusho people live in the high mountainous region of northern Pakistan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Burusho grow crops such as potatoes, barley, wheat, maize, and vegetables in the short summers of the Hindu Kush and Karakoram Mountains. They also take care of sheep and goats. These animals provide meat, milk, wool, and skins. The Burusho trade their surplus animal products and produce for things they cannot make for themselves such as cell phones, appliances and metal tools.
The main clans of the Burusho live in the city of Baltit. Marriages take place once a year, usually in December. Divorce is allowed only to men and then only on the grounds of adultery. On the death of the father, sons inherit the property with the oldest son usually receiving the best land. Elders rule the Burusho villages. They deal with outsiders and make legal decisions. The chief elder or leader of the Burusho people is called the mir. His word is final.
Sons assume responsibility for elderly parents and grandparents. Three or more generations often live under one roof. The Burusho marry among themselves. Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. Life expectancy among the Burusho is only 53 years because their lack of access to modern medicine. Many Burusho, especially the women, are unable to read and write. Many men are able to speak Urdu, the national language of Pakistan.
According to Wikipedia, the Burusho are known for their love of music and dance, along with their progressive views towards education and women.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Burusho are Ismaili - Shiai Muslims and have been so for hundreds of years. Muslims believe that the supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. 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.
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.
Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe that Allah has pre-determined our fates. They minimize free will.

What Are Their Needs?

The Burusho would benefit by access to modern medicine. Solar cells can bring electricity to their isolated villages. Most of all, the Burusho need to hear and understand the good news of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to intervene in Burusho families giving them a hunger of the Word of God.
Ask God to send loving workers to the Burusho.
Pray for the hearts of the Burusho elders would be drawn to the Lord.
Pray for a church planting movement to thrive in the communities of the Burusho in this decade.

Scripture Prayers for the Burusho in Pakistan.



Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Burusho
People Name in Country Burusho
Pronunciation BROO-show
Alternate Names Yashkun; बूरुषो
Population this Country 266,000
Population all Countries 266,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 5
People ID 20031
ROP3 Code 101787
ROP25 Code 301511
ROP25 Name Burusho
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 7  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 7  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 1
  Gilgit-Baltistan 261,000
Website South Asia Peoples
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 %
* From latest Pakistan census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Burushaski (249,000 speakers)
Language Code bsk   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
Primary Language Burushaski (249,000 speakers)
Language Code bsk   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
  Shina 7,300
  Balti 3,300
  Urdu 1,300
People Groups Speaking Burushaski

Primary Language:  Burushaski

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2021)
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Burushaski Jesus Film Project
General Resources available in Burushaski General / Other
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Photo Source Wasiasuhail - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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