Pashtun Parachamkani (Para) in Pakistan

The Pashtun Parachamkani (Para) 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

The Pashtun of Afghanistan and Pakistan 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.
There have been efforts to reach the Pashtun since 1818, when William Carey translated parts of the Old Testament into Pakhto, based on interaction with Pashtun traders who caravanned (and settled) across north India and beyond. (In South Asia, the name "Pashtun/Pakhtun" was anglicized to "Pathan"—a name immortalized in Rudyard Kipling's novels and British colonial history; today, the Pashtun in India, Bangladesh, and throughout South Asia are known as "Pathan".) The first intentional mission to the Pashtun was launched by the Church Missionary Society in Peshawar, Pakistan (then Northwest India) in 1853. This was followed by over 150 years of faithful witness, through mission hospitals, schools, colleges, literature, friendship evangelism, and other forms of witness by national Pakistani (Punjabi) Christians and expatriate missionaries. Despite this record, and the slow but growing number of scattered Pashtun believers, a vibrant, indigenous, disciple-making movement has yet to take root and spread.
The majority of Pashtun live in Pakistan. Among them are the Parachamkani. They are concentrated mainly in the northern and western provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan. The Durand Line (the border established under British colonial rule) divides traditional Pashtun homelands in Afghanistan and present-day Pakistan. However, due to tribal, linguistic, social and economic ties, the border is porous, and volatile—fertile ground for the drug trade, smuggling, and cross-border militancy.

What Are Their Lives Like?

More significant than dialectical differences, a Pashtun's primary loyalty is to his particular social group (tribe or sub-tribe). This loyalty supersedes their loyalty to either Afghanistan or Pakistan, their two major countries of origin.
Be they in Afghanistan or Pakistan, Pashtuns must deal with the Taliban, which rules Afghanistan with an iron fist. The Taliban has a high concentration of Pashtun members. However, different clans might be loyal to them or against them.
Pashtun clans in Pakistan like the Parachamkani must make a living in a country that is dominated by a Punjabi speaking elite. They try to protect their identity and interests through groups like the Pashtun Tahafuz (protection) Movement.
In Pakistan one can find Pashtuns in all walks of life, but most are involved in agriculture.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Although most Pakistani Christians are from a former low-caste background and speak Punjabi, some have overcome social, language and prejudice barriers to reach out in love to their Muslim neighbors. Despite growing anti-Western and anti-American sentiment, Pakistan still offers opportunities for investment, learning, business and service. Many expatriates have enjoyed the renowned hospitality and friendship of Pashtuns and other Pakistani peoples.

What Are Their Needs?

Pashtun peoples have tremendous potential. If they allowed the Holy Spirit to transform their families and communities, they and those around them would be blessed beyond measure.

Prayer Points

Media. Pray for the production and distribution of all forms of media in the Pashto language, including literature, videos, music, movies, radio, websites, and social media. The demand and response have increased!
Scripture. Pray for Bible translations in progress!
Laborers. Pray for more workers to serve among the Pashtun people—in education, business, healthcare, development, and other professional areas!
Believers. No one knows how many Pashtuns are following Jesus. Believers have sewn seeds far and wide. The greatest barriers to faith are social and cultural. Pray for God's Spirit to strengthen and protect new believers and to empower their lives and witness.
Pray for an unstoppable Holy Spirit directed movement to Christ among every Pashtun clan that will abundantly bless them in every way.

Scripture Prayers for the Pashtun Parachamkani (Para) in Pakistan.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Pashtun Parachamkani (Para)
People Name in Country Pashtun Parachamkani (Para)
Alternate Names
Population this Country 70,000
Population all Countries 70,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 22250
ROP3 Code 119269
ROP25 Code 306585
ROP25 Name Pashtun
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 on file 3
Largest States
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 3
  Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 64,000
  Sindh 4,300
  Balochistan 1,300
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 Pashto, Central (62,000 speakers)
Language Code pst   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
Pashto, Northern
Primary Language Pashto, Central (62,000 speakers)
Language Code pst   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
  Pashto, Northern 5,100
  Urdu 1,000
People Groups Speaking Pashto, Central

Primary Language:  Pashto, Central

Bible Translation Status:  Unspecified

Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Film / Video God's Love Story General / Other
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General General Ministry Resources General / Other
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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