Punjabi in Iran

Photo Source:  Web Flippy - Pixabay 
Send Joshua Project a map of this people group.
People Name: Punjabi
Country: Iran
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 38,000
World Population: 2,160,600
Primary Language: Punjabi, Eastern
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 1.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.10 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Muslim - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The name "Punjabi" is used to describe both those who speak Punjabi and those who inhabit the Punjab region in India and Pakistan. Punjabi is an Indo-European language that is divided into six main dialects. Those in Iran speak the Eastern Punjabi dialect.

Modern Punjabi culture was largely shaped by the partitioning of India and Pakistan in 1947. This event resulted in massive migrations that separated the Muslims from the Hindus and Sikhs. In general, the Muslim Punjabis live in Pakistan, while the Hindu or Sikhs are in India. One can also find large Punjabi communities in nearly thirty other countries including Iran. Punjabis in Iran live either in Tehran or Zahidan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

As recently as the 1950s and 60s, Punjabis came to Iran to take advantage of high paying jobs during the tenure of the Shah. Most of them left during the 1979 Iranian Revolution. There are still two Hindu temples in Iran. The few who live in Iran are usually businessmen. They retain their Indian citizenship and try to make sure their children get educated as Hindus.

Marriage is highly desired among all Punjabi, whether Muslim, Hindu or Sikh. Among the diaspora Punjabis, newly married couples set up their homes wherever they choose. Parents still arrange marriage after extensive discussions.

Among Punjabis, there is no overall system of social control. Instead, each institution (such as business, home, civil administration, religious organization, or political organization) has its own set of laws and disciplinary measures.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Surprisingly, most Punjabis in Iran are Hindu. Hinduism is a very flexible religion, and people can worship any number of gods or none at all. They seek their gods for help with practical needs.

What Are Their Needs?

Although there are many Christian resources available in the Punjabi language, very few Hindu Punjabi have been reached with the gospel. There is a great need for church planting teams to begin focusing on the Punjabi.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Punjabi people in Iran to have hearts that are open to the abundant blessings of Jesus Christ.

Pray for their families to prosper financially and spiritually as they experience a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Pray for a movement to Christ among the Punjabi people in Iran that will spread joy, peace and salvation.

Pray for the Punjabi culture to be renewed and enhanced by a work of the Holy Spirit and shaped into a God-centered and God-honoring mold.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Punjabi family and community leaders to seek his face and enjoy his blessings.

Text Source:   Joshua Project