This is an article from the November-December 1986 issue: The First Ten Years, The Last Campaign

Global Peoples Profiles:

Hazara of Afghanistan and Deccanis of India

Global Peoples Profiles:

Hazara of Afghanistan

There are 1,586,900 clearly identified Hazara people in Afghanistan, though other sources report estimates that go as high as 6,000,000. They are located in the central mountains of Afghanistan between Kabul and Herat (Hazarajat), in Kabul, in the area between Maimana and SariPul, in settlements of north Afghanistan, in Baluchistan and near Quetta in Pakistan. Some have moved to northern Iran. Many are refugees.

They are purportedly an Indo-Iranian or Indo-European people. Ethnic names include Berberi, (Central) Dai Kundi, Dai Zangi, Behsud, Yekaulang, (Southern) Polada, Urusgani, Jaguri, Ghazni Hazaras, and Dai Miradad. They call their language "hazaragi," though it is also refered to as Afghan Persian. This language appears to be related to Dari, and thus the Hazara currently must rely on the Dari translation of the New Testament which was just completed in 1982. There is no Scripture in the hazaragi language, and no work appears to be in progress.

The people are agriculturalists, semi-sedentary pastoralists. They are predominantly Shiâite Muslims. Of the 1.5 million Hazara in Afghanistan, there are only 800 known Christians. There is a significant amount of secular radio broadcasting in this language, though only a moderate amount of Christian broadcasting. Only indirect or "off-the-spot" ministries from outside (relief aid, radio, literature in this or other languages, occasional visits from or contact with lay Christians) is currently possible.

Taking into consideration a range of factors including Christian radio, Scripture, missionary presence, viable indigenous Christian communities, etc. on a scale of 1-100, the Hazara people of Afghanistan would be classified as only 16% evangelized, making them one of the least-evangelized peoples of this size in the world. This also means there are approximately 1,332,200 Hazara people who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Deccanl of India

The Deccan Plateau in central India coincides with what used to be the princely state of Hyderabad, until 1948 ruled by the Sunni Muslim dynasty of Asaf Jahs (the nizams of Hyderabad). Its Muslim inhabitants, now citizens of the states of Andra Pradesh, Mysore and Maharashtra, number 10,709,800 and share to a great extent a common and distinctive heritage and culture. Muslims have always been a small minority of the population of this region ö never more than 12 percent ö yet, from the 14th century until 1948 they ruled the Deccan. Since the beginning, Muslim rule in the Deccan has largely depended on the immigration of Muslims from other Islamic countries. The amalgamation of ethnicities that has emerged over the centuries refer to themselves as Deccani or Dakhini. Their language, dakhini, is an archaic derivative of Urdu; though it is now quite distinct from Urdu. Today, it is sometimes simply referred to as "Hyderabadi Urdu" mixing elements of Marathi, Telegu and various tribal languages with the old dakhini roots.

There are only 100 known Deccani Christians. This leaves a ratio of mom than 56,762 Deccani people who have never heard the Gospel far every Deccani believer, making them one of the least reached peoples in India. There is no radio broadcasting in the dakhini language, secular or religious. Only the New Testament has been translated into their language. It is called the Dakhini New Testament and it was done in 1758. Given the evolution of languages, it is almost certainly unintelligible to the modern Deccani reader. The fact that the Deccani live in an area where there are other indigenous Indian Christians living and working places their evangelization level at 47%, a level somewhat higher than many of the worldâs more remote unevangelized peoples. Despite this proximity to other Christians, the 10.7 million Deccani have been severely neglected in terms of gospel witness rendering them one of the worldâs great unreached peoples.


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