Nafar, Nafar Turk in Iran

Nafar, Nafar Turk
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People Name: Nafar, Nafar Turk
Country: Iran
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 4,800
World Population: 4,800
Primary Language: Azerbaijani, South
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Azerbaijani
Affinity Bloc: Turkic Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Nafar Turks people of Iran live near the capital of Teheran and in the Fars province of southeastern Iran. Although they are called Turks, the Nafars are a mixture of Turkish, Arabic and Luri elements.

The number of Nafar people has been declining since the 18th century. Other nomadic tribes such as the Qashqai and Baharlu have absorbed many Nafar so that there are only a few thousand Nafar left in Iran. Nafar is a word which means "person, worker or servant" in both Arabic and Hindi. The traditional lifestyle of the Nafar was pastoral. The Nafar took care sheep, goats and cattle roaming the land searching for water and grass. In modern times, most Nafar have settled down to become farmers and laborers.

The Nafar have a reputation as being warriors. They fought off attempts by the central government to control them for many years. They fight to protect their herds and flocks from thieves and predators.

The primary language of the Nafar is South Azerbaijani. Most Nafar also speak Farsi, the main language of the Iranian nation.

Where Are they Located?

The Nafar Turks live in Iran near Teheran and in the province of Fars.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The life of the Nafar depends on where he or she lives. Some Nafar follow the nomadic lifestyle of their ancestors and raise animals. Some Nafar are farmers who still raise some animals. The Nafar grow wheat, barley, vegetables and fruit. Cash crops like cotton, walnuts and almonds allow the Nafar to get money to buy foods and household goods that they cannot produce themselves. Other Nafar live a modern life working in the cities. A few educated Nafars have become professionals like physicians, attorneys, teachers and accountants.

Illiteracy is a problem for the Nafar who live in the countryside. Nomadic people often receive only a minimal education for their children due to their movements during the school year. Children must often quit school to take care of their family business.
Nafar families arrange marriages for their young people. A man may have up to four wives if he can afford them but one wife is the general rule. A father's property is divided among his sons. The eldest son becomes responsible for the welfare of his
younger siblings and mother.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Nafar are Shia Muslims. Shia is one of the two major branches of Islam along with Sunni. Both Sunnis and Shias agree that Allah is the one true God and that Muhammad was his messenger. One group, which eventually became the Shias, felt Muhammad's successor should be someone in his bloodline, while the other, which became the Sunnis, felt a pious individual who would follow the Prophet's customs was acceptable.

A Muslim must affirm that "there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet." (2) Five times a day one must pray while facing Mecca. (3) One must give an obligatory percentage (very similar to tithes) on an annual basis. (4) One must fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year. (5) One must try to make at least one pilgrimage to Mecca in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited to drink alcohol, eat pork, gamble, steal, use deceit, slander, and make idols.

What Are Their Needs?

The Nafar need help in educating their children. They need new job skills to join the modern Iranian economy. Most of all they need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ who alone can give them peace they seek.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Nafar Turks in Iran teachable and understanding hearts.
Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Nafar Turkish families into a rich experience of God's blessing.
Pray for Nafar Turkish families to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek forgiveness, and to understand the adequacy of Christ's work on the cross.
Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Nafar family leaders to experience God's blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.

Text Source:   Keith Carey