Khalaj, Turkic in Iran

Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Khalaj, Turkic
Country: Iran
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 20,000
World Population: 20,000
Primary Language: Khalaj
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Azerbaijani
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Khalaj is a Turkish word meaning, "stay hungry." Some say they are the remnant of the Hephthalitite tribe. The Khalaj language is also called Arghu, and it has two dialects. They speak an ancient Turkic language.

In the 9th and 10th centuries, Arab geographers mentioned the Khalaj people as being one of the Turkish tribes along the steppes of Central Asia, and their original homeland was in the Talas region. They moved several times throughout their history, usually because of war and conquest. During the Mongol invasions of the 1200s, some Khalaj people sided with the Mongols, while others were loyal to more local leaders.

Where Are they Located?

Though the majority of the Khalaj people live in the Markhazi Province of Iran, there are smaller pockets of them in Afghanistan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

There is almost no information about the lifestyle of this people group.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Khalaj people are all Shi 'ite Muslims. There are no Christian materials in their ancient Turkic language, not even gospel recordings.

What Are Their Needs?

Like all other people groups, the Khalaj people need spiritual hunger so that they will seek and find the true source of light, Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to equip prayer warriors to overcome spiritual darkness in the Khalaj homeland so that the gospel can be understood without Satan's interference.
Pray for accurate Christian materials to be developed in the Khalaj language.
Pray that the Khalaj people will receive Christ and they will become a blessed people, shining with the light of Jesus in a dark world.
Pray for the Khalaj people to be discipled in the ways of Christ, and that others will join their fellowships.

Text Source:   Keith Carey