A Hospitable People
The Hazara, a minority, Shia Muslim, Turk-o Mongol people from the high mountains of Central Afghanistan, speak a Persian language (Hazaragi). They make up about 20% of the population of Afghanistan. Their Asian (Mongolian) features immediately distinguish them from other peoples of Afghanistan.
The Hazara are visually, linguistically and religiously different from all the other peoples around them in their homeland. Because of these differences, they have long been despised and persecuted by majority groups. Persecution of the Hazara continues today; many have fled from this persecution throughout the years and sought work in other lands. Nearly 100,000 Hazaras live and work in the United Arab Emirates, but they are not recognized specifically in the U.A.E. census, by the Afghan embassy or even by Joshua Project except under the general category of Central Afghanis. Many live in apartment buildings in or near the center of the city or in industrial areas. Some own, manage, or work in small businesses dealing with used cars, motorcycles, engines, car parts, auto body, heavy equipment, or industrial trades. They are creative and talented in many trades. Adults are 80-90% illiterate, necessitating methods of oral evangelism and discipleship. According to some sources, there are 5-8 million Hazara in the world, with few believers among them. Want to learn more? Watch our 5 minute Profile Video by clicking here!
Your Neighbors, My Neighbors
The Hazara are an unreached people, who have not heard the truth about Jesus Christ and the salvation that comes through faith in Him. They deserve to know that God has accepted them and would welcome them as children through Christ. Since many of them are living in other lands, the door has opened to putting them in places where believers can live and work and develop relationships with them. Their minority status lends to them being more open to the gospel. Who in the Gulf region is trying to specifically and intentionally reach them with the gospel? Perhaps you will be the one who says “Here I am Lord, Send me”?
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A church planter to work among the Hazara in the Middle East is needed. Volunteers are needed to help share the good news in a creative way. Prayer walking among the Hazaras living abroad is a crucial step in reaching them. Ask God if He is calling you to join a team in prayer walking.
If you are a woman and willing to invite some other women to your home to pray specifically for the Hazara women, please consider hosting a prayer tea. Visit Hazaranet, a very good website with information about Hazaras living in Afghanistan and other parts of Central Asia. Click this link to Host a Prayer Tea. This will give you step-by-step information for hosting a tea. There is even a printable version of the prayer guide. Though the lifestyle of the Hazara living in the U.A.E. may differ from those living in Afghanistan, most of them still practice many of the things you will read about in the prayer tea guide. To the prayers listed in the guide, please pray specifically for the Hazara women living in the U.A.E. Pray the things mentioned above and pray that the workers who are trying to reach out to these women would be able to develop good relationships and have many opportunities to sow seeds of truth.