Photo Source: Web Flippy - Pixabay
Map Source: People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
|Primary Language:||Punjabi, Eastern|
|Christian Adherents:||1.00 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|People Cluster:||South Asia Muslim - other|
|Affinity Bloc:||South Asian Peoples|
The name "Punjabi" is used to describe both those who speak Punjabi and those who inhabit the Punjab region in India and Pakistan. Punjabi is an Indo-European language that is divided into six main dialects. In Afghanistan, Punjabis might speak either the Western or Eastern Punjabi dialect.
Modern Punjabi culture was largely shaped by the partitioning of India and Pakistan in 1947. This event resulted in massive migrations that separated the Muslims from the Hindus and Sikhs. In general, the Muslim Punjabis live in Pakistan, while the Hindu or Sikhs are in India. One can also find large Punjabi communities in nearly thirty other countries, including Afghanistan.
While the living conditions of the Punjabis differ greatly from country to country, they have retained much of their traditional culture and language. Though the language is still Punjabi, there are cultural differences between each of the three religious affiliations.
The Punjabi immigrants have taken on a variety of occupations. Many have excelled as mechanics, construction workers, and business professionals. Others have found work in retail and trade, particularly through small family businesses.
Punjabis say their conflicts usually stem from "land, women, and water." This means they deem it necessary to control the means by which a person perpetuates his family and property. This kind of thinking affects the Diaspora Punjabis, though they are unlikely to be landowners in other countries.
In traditional Muslim Punjabi culture, the men are responsible for overseeing the family possessions such as land, shops, or other business assets. The women are responsible for managing the homes. They cook, care for the children, manage the household finances, and take care of any domestic animals.
Among the diaspora Punjabis, newly married couples set up their homes wherever they choose. Parents still arrange most marriages, but this is always preceded by extensive discussions. Among the Muslim Punjabis, there is no overall system of social control. Instead, each institution (such as business, home, civil administration, religious organization, or political organization) has its own set of laws and disciplinary measures.
The Diaspora Punjabi reflect the three major religions of their homeland: Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism. Those in Afghanistan are usually Muslim, though there are a small number of Hindus and Sikhs among them.
The Punjabis in Afghanistan are Sunni Muslims. "Sunni," is derived from the Islamic term, sunnah, which means "well-trodden path." Sunnis believe that the correct path is that of the majority. They believe that the One, Supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship.
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.
Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe that Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will.
Although there are many Christian resources available in the Punjabi language, very few Muslim Punjabi have been reached with the gospel. There is a great need for church planting teams to begin focusing on Punjabi speakers.
Pray for the Punjabi people in Afghanistan to have hearts that are open to the abundant blessings of Jesus Christ.
Pray for their families to prosper financially and spiritually as they experience a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Pray for a movement to Christ among the Punjabi people in Afghanistan that will spread joy, peace, and salvation.
Pray for the Punjabi culture to be renewed and enhanced by a work of the Holy Spirit and shaped into a God-centered and God-honoring mold.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Punjabi family and community leaders to seek his face and enjoy his blessings.