Prayer Profile
The Teymur of Iran

[IMAGE] The Teymur are a small minority tribe in northeastern Iran. They belong to a larger cluster of peoples known as the Char Aimaq, who live scattered throughout western Afghanistan and northern Iran. For many years, the Char Aimaq tribes have been moved, split, and combined by governments.

The Teymur are primarily concentrated in the Khorasan province, south of Mashhad, the main Aimaq city. Mashhad is one of 100 strategic cities, or "gateway cities," of the 10/40 Window. Once it has been penetrated with the Gospel, it will become a doorway into the surrounding unreached people groups.

Ignoring national boundaries, the Teymur roam freely on nomadic journeys across the dry, rugged mountains of Iran. They inhabit an area known for its world famous trade routes, and this has produced a people of mixed heritage. However, most of the Teymur have pronounced Mongoloid features.

What are their lives like?
The Teymur were at one time a completely nomadic tribe. Today, many have taken up farming due to droughts and erosion that occurred in the 1950's and 1960's. The farmers use wooden plows and primitive hoes to cultivate their gardens. Wheat, grapes, rice, barley, oats, melons, and vegetables are the main crops raised. Nevertheless, farming is still considered only a subsidiary activity in their culture.

The Teymur lifestyle centers around their herds, which provide them with meat, milk, fat, cheese, and skins for tent-making. As in Biblical times, wealth is measured in livestock. Even those who have taken up farming go out in their tents during the spring and summer months, wandering through the mountains with their herds. In the winter, the people live in brick huts in towns, and their herds eat stored grain.

The nuclear family is the most important social unit among the Teymur. It usually consists of a man, his wife (or wives), their children, and his parents. A woman joins her husband's nuclear family when they marry.

The primary occupation of women is carpet weaving, although they may also help tend the flocks. Carpets from each tribe have their own distinctive patterns. Mothers teach their daughters to make the carpets from wool on portable looms. When food sources are low, money made from the sale of carpets is used to purchase additional food. The carpets, along with livestock and cash, may also be used as marriage payments.

Traditionally, a khan is the head of a Teymur tribe. He is able to trace his ancestry to the founder of the tribe. Today, however, the Iranian government is pushing to break up this patrilineal ruling system (based on ancestry). Important decisions now reside officially in village councils. Although the old structure remains, the real power has shifted to Teheran, Iran's capital city.

What are their beliefs?
The Teymur are virtually all Sunni (orthodox) Muslims of the Hanafite branch. However, it is reported that the radical Iranian government has forced the Teymur to convert to its dominant Shi'ite beliefs. Shi'ites and Sunnis have been bitter rivals for centuries and still battle today.

Iran is an Islamic theocracy run by religious leaders who are very hostile toward Christianity. The country has been ravaged by internal revolution, war with Iraq, and religious upheaval. These horrors are blamed on evil Western influences, no doubt synonymous with Christianity. The previous Christian population has been exiled.

What are their needs?
Little is reported about the physical needs of the Char Aimaq of Iran, and even less can is known about the Teymur tribe. Their remote location and dispersion have made them difficult to reach and study. However, we do know that their spiritual needs are great.

The Teymur have had very little exposure to the Gospel. Neither the Bible nor any Christian broadcasts are currently available in their language, and there are no missions agencies working among them. Prayer is the key to seeing the Teymur reached with the Gospel.

Prayer Points

  • Pray that the doors of Iran will soon open to Christian missionaries.
  • Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil of Iran through worship and intercession.
  • Ask God to give the small number of Teymur believers opportunities to share the Gospel with their friends and families.
  • Ask God to raise up linguists to translate the Bible and other Christian materials into the Jamshidi language.
  • Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that are keeping Teymur bound.
  • Pray that God will provide greater freedom to live and work among the people of Iran.
  • Pray that God will reveal Himself to these precious people through dreams and visions.
  • Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Teymur church for the glory of His name!

See also the following Aimaq Groups:
The Firozkohi of Afghanistan; The Jamshidi of Iran; The Jamshidi of Afghanistan; The Taimani of Afghanistan;
The Teymur of Afghanistan; and The Aimaq Hazara of Afghanistan.

Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.


  • People name: Teymur
  • Country: Iran
  • Their language: Jamshidi
  • Population: (1990) 29,500
    (1995) 33,600
    (2000) 37,300
  • Largest religion: Muslim (Hanafite) 99.9%
  • Christians: <1%
  • Church members: 7
  • Scriptures in their own language: None
  • Jesus Film in their own language: None
  • Christian broadcasts in their own language: None
  • Mission agencies working among this people: 0
  • Persons who have heard the Gospel: 1,400 (5%) Those evangelized by local Christians: 1,000 (3%)
    Those evangelized from the outside: 400 (2%)
  • Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 32,200 (95%)
  • Country: Iran
  • Population: (1990) 58,946,300
    (1995) 67,283,200
    (2000) 74,643,600
  • Major peoples in size order: Persian 35.7%
    Azerbaijani 15.6%
    Luri 7.1%
    Iranian Kurd 6%
    Southern Kurd 4.5%
  • Major religions: Muslims 98.7%
    Bahai's 0.6%
    Christians 0.5%
  • Number of denominations: 26

© Copyright 1997
Bethany World Prayer Center

This profile may be copied and distributed without obtaining permission
as long as it is not altered, bound, published
or used for profit purposes.

[Home] [Calendar] [Country List]