Nafar Turk in Iran

The Nafar have only been reported in Iran
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Nafar Turks people of Iran live near the capital of Teheran and in the Fars province of southeastern Iran. Although they are called Turks, the Nafars are a mixture of Turkish, Arabic and Luri elements.

The number of Nafar people has been declining since the 18th century. Other nomadic tribes such as the Qashqai and Baharlu have absorbed many Nafar so that there are only a few thousand Nafar left in Iran. Nafar is a word which means "person, worker or servant" in both Arabic and Hindi. The traditional lifestyle of the Nafar was pastoral. The Nafar took care sheep, goats and cattle roaming the land searching for water and grass. In modern times, most Nafar have settled down to become farmers and laborers.

The Nafar have a reputation as being warriors. They fought off attempts by the central government to control them for many years. They fight to protect their herds and flocks from thieves and predators.

The primary language of the Nafar is South Azerbaijani. Most Nafar also speak Farsi, the main language of the Iranian nation.

Where Are they Located?

The Nafar Turks live in Iran near Teheran and in the province of Fars.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The life of the Nafar depends on where he or she lives. Some Nafar follow the nomadic lifestyle of their ancestors and raise animals. Some Nafar are farmers who still raise some animals. The Nafar grow wheat, barley, vegetables and fruit. Cash crops like cotton, walnuts and almonds allow the Nafar to get money to buy foods and household goods that they cannot produce themselves. Other Nafar live a modern life working in the cities. A few educated Nafars have become professionals like physicians, attorneys, teachers and accountants.

Illiteracy is a problem for the Nafar who live in the countryside. Nomadic people often receive only a minimal education for their children due to their movements during the school year. Children must often quit school to take care of their family business.
Nafar families arrange marriages for their young people. A man may have up to four wives if he can afford them but one wife is the general rule. A father's property is divided among his sons. The eldest son becomes responsible for the welfare of his
younger siblings and mother.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Nafar are Shia Muslims. Shia is one of the two major branches of Islam along with Sunni. Both Sunnis and Shias agree that Allah is the one true God and that Muhammad was his messenger. One group, which eventually became the Shias, felt Muhammad's successor should be someone in his bloodline, while the other, which became the Sunnis, felt a pious individual who would follow the Prophet's customs was acceptable.

A Muslim must affirm that "there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet." (2) Five times a day one must pray while facing Mecca. (3) One must give an obligatory percentage (very similar to tithes) on an annual basis. (4) One must fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year. (5) One must try to make at least one pilgrimage to Mecca in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited to drink alcohol, eat pork, gamble, steal, use deceit, slander, and make idols.

What Are Their Needs?

The Nafar need help in educating their children. They need new job skills to join the modern Iranian economy. Most of all they need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ who alone can give them peace they seek.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Nafar Turks in Iran teachable and understanding hearts.
Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Nafar Turkish families into a rich experience of God's blessing.
Pray for Nafar Turkish families to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek forgiveness, and to understand the adequacy of Christ's work on the cross.
Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Nafar family leaders to experience God's blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.

Scripture Prayers for the Nafar, Nafar Turk in Iran.


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Nafar
People Name in Country Nafar, Nafar Turk
Natural Name Nafar Turk
Population this Country 4,800
Population all Countries 4,800
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Nafar Turk
People ID 13915
ROP3 Code 107003
Country Iran
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 9  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Widespread, especially north and central.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Iran
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 9  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Widespread, especially north and central..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Azerbaijani, South
Language Code azb   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Nafar
Dialect Code 7460   Global Recordings Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Azerbaijani, South
Language Code azb   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Nafar
Dialect Code 7460   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Azerbaijani, South

Primary Language:  Azerbaijani, South

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes
Bible-New Testament Yes
Bible-Complete Yes  (2009-2013)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Network of Azerbaijani Partnerships
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Film / Video Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Azerbaijani, South
Film / Video Magdalena video
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
General Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions
General Gospel resources links
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file
Mobile App Download audio Bible app from Google Play Store
Text / Printed Matter Azeri Scripture Resources
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Azerbaijani, South
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Comic Book Version
Text / Printed Matter Download scripture in this language
Text / Printed Matter Tools for faith conversations
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Other Christian
Roman Catholic
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more