Wakhi in Afghanistan

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Wakhi
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Operation China, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
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People Name: Wakhi
Country: Afghanistan
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 20,000
World Population: 131,000
Primary Language: Wakhi
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Tajik
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Guhjali, also known as the mountain Tajiks, are of the Tajik people cluster. They are also called the Guhiali, Khik, Vakhan, Wakhani, Wakhi, Wakhigi, or Wakhs.

Where Are they Located?

The Guhjali are found in China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, they are found in small, remote villages in the lower altitudes in the Wakhan Corridor and upper Badakshan. They mostly reside in 64 villages on the left bank of the Panj River in the Wakhan Corridor.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Kirghiz live in the high mountain valleys of the area, while the Wakhi lived in the lowlands areas. Relations between the two groups are often tense, yet both groups are economically dependent on each other. The Kirghiz depend on the Wakhi for grain, while the Wakhi depend on the Kirghiz for animals. The center of the areas where they reside is Khandud. Many have scattered and are refugees now. They speak Wakhi, and Indo- Iranian language. The literacy rate is below 1%.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Guhjali are Ismaili Shi'a Muslims. Some, however, are Imami Shi'a and Sunni. There are few, if any, Christians or churches among them. There are no known groups working among them. There are Christian audio recordings available in their language.