Day 8. Pashtun in Pakistan (pahsh-TOON)
In Pakistan, the Pashtun live in the rural, mountainous area bordering Afghanistan; a border that is porous—due to tribal, linguistic, social and economic ties, and volatile—fertile ground for the drug trade, smuggling, and cross-border militancy.
Both Islam and honor are moral authorities for their behavior, decision-making, and daily life. They are Sunni Muslims, but also enshrine a code of conduct called Pashtunwali (“the way of the Pashtuns”). This code of honor covers every area of social behavior for men, women, and children. This strong sense of identity leads many Pashtuns to say that they are Pashtun first and Muslims second. This is especially true when there is a conflict between what religion requires and what they need to do as a Pashtun when honor is challenged. In the wisdom of their own Pashto proverbs, “A true Pashtun says, May I lose my faith, but may I never lose my honor!” Millions of Pashtun also reside in Afghanistan and India (Pathans).
While Pashtun may live and work in the city or abroad, connections to “home” are maintained via phone, text and social media. Pashtuns also send money and travel back to visit their relatives in villages and provinces. These social and economic ties are potential bridges for Good News to travel to peoples and places unreachable through other means.
Prayers for the families of the Pashtun:
Lord, send families following Jesus and honoring the King of Kings to the Pashtun to show Your love and the power of forgiveness which brings You honor.
Lord, bless Your Holy Scriptures to be spoken in the homes of the Pashtun in their own language (Pashto).
Lord, bless Scripture translations in Pashto dialects and may those translations be understood by all 30 of the largest clans.
Lord, give dreams and visions to the leaders of households, may they turn to Jesus and disciple other families. Pour out your rich blessings of miracles, healings, open repentance, and a desire to right wrongs through forgiveness not revenge. Raise up servant leaders who model Jesus rather than man’s idea of honor. Lord show Yourself to the Pashtun clans.
God’s blessing upon the Pashtun: Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. (Ps. 24:7-8)