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Introduction / History
The Dilazaks are one of the Pashtun tribes in Pakistan. The Pashtuns have been called the largest Muslim tribal society in the world. There are at least 30 major tribes, and countless sub-tribes and clans. Spread over a vast geographical area and riven by socio-economic, political, tribal and linguistic (dialectical) differences, Pashtuns nevertheless share a unique sense of common identity. Pashtun identity is based on four elements: Heritage (descent from a common ancestor); Islam (99.9% Muslim); the Pashtunwali Code of Honor ("The Way of the Pashtun"); and to some extent, language (Pakhtu or Pashto). They live primarily in Afghanistan and Pakistan, though there is a significant Pashtun diaspora in the Arab Gulf and many Western countries.
What Are Their Lives Like?
They have a lot of bad blood between themselves and the Yousafzai tribe, which led to bloody battles about 500 years ago. For this reason, they now live in Pakistan rather than their original Afghanistan. More significant than dialectical differences, a Pashtun’s primary loyalty is to his particular social group (tribe or sub-tribe).
What Are Their Beliefs?
Whether they are new in Western countries or they have never been to the original Pashtun homeland, Dilazak Pashtuns almost always identify themselves as Muslims. They will be married in a mosque, and to be associated with another religious system would be unacceptable in their community. Those who want to take Christ to the Dilazak Pashtuns will need to do just that; take Christ to them, not a religious system. The Pashtunwali Code of Honor erodes among Pashtuns who live in urban settings. Some of them have only a weak identity as Muslims or as Pashtuns. They need to find their identity in the Savior who loves them and wants them to be transformed into His likeness. No one knows how many Pashtuns are following Jesus. Seeds of the gospel have been sown widely. The greatest barriers to faith are social and cultural, leaving us with the challenge of allowing Pashtuns to embrace Christ while keeping their culture and traditions.
What Are Their Needs?
All Pashtun tribes need an encounter with the Risen Lord that will help them to see their desperate spiritual state without a savior.
* Scripture Prayers for the Pashtun Dilazak in Pakistan.
Pray for the production and distribution of all forms of media in the Pashtu language, including literature, videos, music, movies, radio, websites, and social media. The demand and response have increased! Pray for Bible translations in progress for all the Pashtu dialects. Pray for more workers to serve among the Pashtun people—in education, business, healthcare, development, and other professional areas!