People Group Profiles

“All nations will come and worship before you."

- Revelations 15:4

Afghan of North America

People Group Info

Total Population: 290,815

ROP3 Code: 107989
IMB Affinity Group: Central Asia Peoples
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
People Cluster: Persian
Language: Southern Pashto - (pbt)
Religion: Islam
Country of Origin: Afghanistan

Photo courtesy of

Majority Located Where

  Toronto (Mississauga, Brampton), ON - 43,870

  Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, VA - 33,236

  San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA - 30,000

  Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA - 21,673

  Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA - 16,719

Click here to recommend other locations where this People Group resides.

Learn More

Brief Profile

Afghan people are composed of various ethnicities that exist in Afghanistan, reflecting the ethnolinguistic mosaic of their homeland in Afghanistan.

Large numbers of Afghan refugees began arriving in North America during the 1980s in the wake of the Soviet invasion. Some were officially designated as refugees, while others were granted political asylum.

After 1989, however, arrivals have not only come as refugees while other have come to reunite with family members already residing North America. This has led inevitably to Afghans settling near each other, and in some cases ethnic enclaves becoming noticeable in larger metro areas.

The Afghan are separate from ethnic Pashtuns and other South Asian Muslims of Pashtun descent who originate outside Afghanistan's present day borders. As such, when asked, they normally call themselves "Afghan" even when asked more questions concerning any dialect languages they may speak.

An overwhelming majority of Afghan adhere to Islam. However, dress and way of life often reflects a more secular lifestyle. Moreover, the adherence of their people group identity is reinforced by watching Afghan television stations, listening to Afghan music, and eating traditional Afghan food at home. They also value their oral tradition of story telling. The stories they usually tell are about Nasreddin, Afghan history, myths and religion.

As mentioned, central to the Afghan way of life is storytelling, and many stories are so well known that they can be recited by heart at family and community gatherings. Proverbs are also central the Afghan way of life. A few proverbs include (1) Do not stop a donkey that is not yours, (2) What you see in yourself is what you see in the world, (3) When man is perplexed, God is beneficent, and (4) Where your heart goes, there your feet will go.

Prayer Points

  • Pray for Christians who teach English as a Second Language to become friends with the Afghan, reveal through their lifestyle what it means to have a personal relationship with God, and share the message of Jesus Christ as the intimate God.
  • Pray for Christians to encounter Afghan people of peace who will then become followers of Jesus Christ and in turn begin making disciples among their own people.
  • Pray that churches will catch a vision to embrace the Afghan people now in North America, and in so doing those Afghan who become followers of Jesus Christ will share the message of Christ with their family and friends in Afghanistan.

People Group Resources

Afghan Bibles
A resource for Bibles in the various Afghan languages.

Afghanistan Prayer Guide
A Prayer Guide on the country of Afghanistan and the Afghan peoples.

Bible in Dari
Audio, drama, and written Bible in Dari, the main language of Afghan Tajiks

Central Asian Peoples - Short Videos
Short videos in mother tongues of the people groups in Central Asia.

Global Recordings Network - Dari
Resources in the Dari language, designed for evangelism and basic Bible teaching.

Pashto Bibles
Online Pashto written and audio Bible.

Pashto Radio
Music, drama, teaching, dialogue, Bible studies, Scripture, and movies in Pashto.

Prayer Guide for Afghan Refugees
A Send Relief Prayer Guide for Afghan Reugees.

Jesus Film in Dari
This film is a perfect introduction to Jesus through the Gospel of Luke.

Jesus Film in Hazaragi
The JESUS Film in the Hazaragi language (spoken by Hazara), for streaming or download.

Jesus Film in Southern Pashto
The JESUS Film in Southern Pashto language, for streaming or download.

Jesus Film Project - Magdalena in Southern Pashto
Southern Pashto version of the Mary Magdalena film. Very powerful among women.

The Prophet's Story - Hazaragi
Creation to Christ video for Hazara Afghans.

The Prophet's Story - Pashto
This video presents the gospel in the Southern Pashto language simply and quickly through the stories of the Biblical prophets.

Learning Resources

Learn more about "Any-3"
Any–3 provides biblical principles and practical steps that have equipped hundreds of Christians to witness confidently and effectively. Over the past decade, thousands of Muslims have been engaged with the gospel.

Learn more about "Learning Paths"
Online Courses for embracing, encountering and engaging diaspora people. Work at your own pace. Begin anytime and complete the course according to your schedule. Interactive, Hands-On Application.

Learn more about "Reaching the Nations"
This book delineates five disciplines Christians should develop in order to effectively reach the nations. More specifically, it will guide Christians to develop an engagement strategy in their locale.

Loving Muslims Small Group Study
This Loving Muslims booklet is a two-week group study that takes a deeper look at Christ’s command to "love our neighbor."

World Religions - Beliefs Overview
An overview of major world religions and cults - their beliefs and practices.

Overview of Islam
Overview of Islam and its sub-groupings. Developed by the North American Mission Board, SBC. Includes generalized witnessing tips.

Other Resources

Afghan Diaspora
An article on Afghan diaspora, Afghans who reside outside of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Prayer Guide
A Voice of the Martyrs Prayer Guide for Afghanistan.

Hope 4 Afghans
A collection of testimonies from Afghans along with other resources.

Prayer Guide for Unreached Peoples
A 30 day guide to pray for unreached people groups.

Prayer Guide using the GOSPELS acronym
A prayer guide that utilizes the acronym GOSPELS to pray for workers among diaspora.

Displaying 1-25 of 25 results.
Country City Metro Area Name State / Prov. Baseline Population
CanadaScarboroughToronto (Mississauga, Brampton)ON43,870
United StatesSpringfieldWashington-Arlington-AlexandriaVA33,236
United StatesUnion CitySan Francisco-Oakland-HaywardCA30,000
United StatesElk GroveSacramento--Arden-Arcade--RosevilleCA21,673
United StatesIrvineLos Angeles-Long Beach-AnaheimCA16,719
United StatesQueensNew York-Newark-Jersey CityNY9,871
United StatesHoustonHouston-The Woodlands-Sugar LandTX9,850
CanadaMontréalMontreal (Laval)QC9,215
CanadaNew WestminsterVancouver (Surrey)BC7,980
United StatesEl CajonSan Diego-Carlsbad-San MarcosCA7,189
United StatesKentSeattle-Tacoma-BellevueWA6,714
United StatesNorth RiversideChicago-Naperville-ElginIL4,500
United StatesMcKinneyDallas-Fort Worth-ArlingtonTX4,498
United StatesClarkstonAtlanta-Sandy Springs-RoswellGA4,084
United StatesGlendalePhoenix-Mesa-ScottsdaleAZ2,631
United StatesSchenectadyAlbany-Schenectady-TroyNY2,149
United StatesRancho CucamongaRiverside-San Bernardino-OntarioCA1,843
United StatesSt LouisSt. LouisMO1,423
United StatesCentennialDenver-Aurora-LakewoodCO1,400
United StatesMontgomeryChicago-Naperville-ElginIL1,000
United StatesRound RockAustin-Round RockTX893
United StatesSimi ValleyOxnard-Thousand Oaks-VenturaCA755
United StatesRiversideKansas CityMO30
United StatesWilmingtonWilmingtonNC22