Pashtun Yusafzai in Pakistan


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest Pakistan census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

The Pashtun are probably the largest tribal people in the world. The Yusafzai are one of the largest sub-groups of the Pashtun. Most Yusafzai live in northwestern Pakistan near the Afghan border. A smaller group has migrated to India. The Pashtun are called Pathan in India. Pashtun are the second largest ethnic group in Pakistan. Arab-funded madrassas (religious schools) throughout Pakistan, became the seedbed for the rise of the Taliban movement. Driven by a combination of religious zeal and Pashtun nationalism, and fueled by Arab money, the "Taliban" (a term for "religious students") imposed a harsh, hyper-conservative (Wahabi) version of Islam on Afghanistan. Instability, endemic corruption, and ongoing violence have led to widespread disillusionment—and the migration of tens of thousands of Pashtuns seeking jobs and opportunities outside of their homeland. The Yusafzai speak Northern Pashto, one of the two major Pashtun languages. Pashtun in India speak Urdu as their first language. Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, belongs to the Yusafzai tribe.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Pashtun's primary loyalty is to his particular social group (tribe or sub-tribe). The Yusufzai tribe descended from their ancestor Yusuf, who was a descendant of Qais Abdur Rashid (progenitor of all Pashtun). Pashtun share a common descent; the Islamic religion; the Pashtunwali Code of Honor; and to some extent, language (Pashto). The greatest evil for the Pashtun is to disgrace one’s family, clan, or tribe. The Pashtun, especially the rural ones, live and die based on their code of honor. Tens of thousands of Pashtuns have departed from Pakistan seeking a better life in Europe, the Persian Gulf nations, and the West. Many Yusafzai have moved to urban areas and taken up jobs in construction, factories, the oil industry, and retail. The traditional occupations of the Pashtun in Pakistan are agriculture and animal husbandry. One could almost say that a third profession of the Pashtun is warfare. They have been fighting outsiders and among themselves for centuries. Every Pashtun man considers himself a warrior. The life of a Pashtun woman depends upon where she lives. In the countryside, women follow the traditional role of being wives and caretakers for their children. In cities, women are more likely to obtain an education and work outside of the home. A man may have up to four wives in Islam if he can afford them. Most men marry only one wife. Young people marry within their clan. Children, especially boys, are seen as a blessing from Allah.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Pashtun Yusafzai are Sunni Muslims, the largest branch of Islam. Being a Muslim is viewed an essential part of the Yusafzai’s identity. Yusafzai try to obey the teachings of the Koran and the prophet Mohammad. Sunnis believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, using deceit, slandering, and making idols. If a Yusafzai becomes a follower of Jesus Christ, he or she will face persecution from his or her family and community. 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.


What Are Their Needs?

The Yusafzai need to hear and understand the life-saving message of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life. Rural Pashtun have an oral culture. Most rural women and many men are unable to read and write. Yusafzai would benefit from better access to modern medicine and education.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Pashtun Yusafzai in Pakistan.

Pray for wide availability for Northern Pashto language radio programs. Pray that Yusafzai families will be led to listen to these programs. Pray for an openness to the gospel among Yusafzai elders and leaders. Ask the Lord to raise up a church planting movement among the Pashtun Yusafzai in Pakistan in this decade.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Pashtun Yusafzai
People Name in Country Pashtun Yusafzai
Population this Country 3,394,000
Population all Countries 4,401,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 68
Alternate Names
People ID 22294
ROP3 Code 119313
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 8  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 7
Largest States
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
2,588,000
Punjab
390,000
Sindh
360,000
Azad Kashmir
24,000
Balochistan
19,000
Islamabad
12,000
Gilgit-Baltistan
600
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 8  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 7
  Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 2,588,000
  Punjab 390,000
  Sindh 360,000
  Azad Kashmir 24,000
  Balochistan 19,000
  Islamabad 12,000
  Gilgit-Baltistan 600
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Pashto, Northern (1,731,000 speakers)
Language Code pbu   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 21
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Pashto, Central
1,246,000
Hindko, Northern
152,000
Saraiki
131,000
Urdu
98,000
Punjabi, Western
81,000
Sindhi
67,000
Kohistani, Indus
32,000
Khowar
24,000
Pahari-Potwari
10,000
Hindko, Southern
6,400
Gawri
5,700
Dhatki
4,900
Shina, Kohistani
3,500
Torwali
2,800
Balochi, Eastern
500
Primary Language Pashto, Northern (1,731,000 speakers)
Language Code pbu   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 21
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Pashto, Central 1,246,000
  Hindko, Northern 152,000
  Saraiki 131,000
  Urdu 98,000
  Punjabi, Western 81,000
  Sindhi 67,000
  Kohistani, Indus 32,000
  Khowar 24,000
  Pahari-Potwari 10,000
  Hindko, Southern 6,400
  Gawri 5,700
  Dhatki 4,900
  Shina, Kohistani 3,500
  Torwali 2,800
  Balochi, Eastern 500
People Groups Speaking Pashto, Northern

Primary Language:  Pashto, Northern

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1824-2010)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1818-1991)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1895-2019)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings DAVAR Partners recording, New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video God's Love Story
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Pashto, Northern
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena video
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
Film / Video The Savior 0 - The Savior Trailer
Film / Video The Savior 4 - Sowing of the Word
General Biblical answers to your questions
General General Ministry Resources
General Gospel resources links
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Pashto, Northern
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 %
* From latest Pakistan census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source National Archives  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. Read more


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