The Kurdish of Afghanistan
For more than four hundred years, the small Kurd community in Afghanistan has been far removed from its traditional homeland in northwestern Iran. During Persian rule in the 1500's, these Kurd were moved to their present location to serve as border guards against Turk and Mongol invaders. They have been there ever since.
It is difficult to know how the Kurd in Afghanistan have fared during the past ten years. The Soviet invasion and continuing civil war have had drastic effects on the nation as a whole, and up-to-date information is difficult to obtain. It is assumed that the war has driven many into the cities of Kabul or Herat, and possibly even into refugee camps in Iran.
What Are Their Lives Like?
In Kurd society, most people still make their living from farming, and raising livestock. In most cases, agricultural methods are underdeveloped, and the resulting yield is low. While most Kurd are fairly settled, some still practice a semi-nomadic lifestyle. The nomads move within specified territories, following their herds of goats and sheep up to the mountains during the summer months and down to the plains during the winter.
Generally, the Kurd are patrilocal. This means that married sons usually live in the homes of their fathers. Also, there is a clear division of labor by age and sex.
The people of Afghanistan are currently experiencing and being affected by political turmoil within the nation. It is, therefore, difficult to attain exact information on their present situation. With its destruction of towns and villages, the civil war has caused massive movements of people into one of two directions: immigration (mainly to Pakistan and Iran), or escape to the relative safety of the capital city, Kabul. The population of Kabul now includes almost half of Afghanistan's total urban population.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Muslim Kurd observe the five essential "pillars" or duties in Islam: (1) A Muslim must affirm that "there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet." (2) Five times a day he must pray while facing Mecca. (3) He must give alms generously. (4) He must fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year. (5) He must try to make at least one pilgrimage to Mecca in his lifetime. Muslims are also forbidden from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, using slander or deceit, and making idols.
What Are Their Needs?
Civil peace has eluded the Afghans, and spiritual peace is also lacking. Although there are some Christian resources available in their language, Afghanistan's continuing political turmoil has prevented the entrance of missions organizations. Only through fervent prayer can the doors of Afghanistan be opened to the Gospel.Prayer Points
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
© Copyright 1997
Bethany World Prayer Center
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