Unreached People Group

Topics: Islam, Iran, Jesus Pages: 11 (4056 words) Published: June 20, 2013
UNREACHED PEOPLE THE MAZANDERANI OF IRAN
BY
FELTON WOODSON
GLOBAL STUDIES SURVEY
GLST 500
DR. DANIEL SHEARD
March 2013

CONTENTS
ABSTRACT3

BACKGROUND INFORMATION………………………………………………………5 A SURVEY OF MISSIONS WORK………...……………………………………………8 PROPOSED STRATEGY…………………..………………………………………...…12 CONCLUSION………….…………………..………………………………………...…15 WORKS CITED17

ABSTRACT
Just imagine yourself as a foreign missionary. You have a heart for an unreached Islamic people group in Iran. The Caspian Sea’s coast is the backdrop to the community in which you would like to reach with the gospel. This is an unreached people group with a high Christian persecution rate. They have a Russian and Mongolian background but the worship of Allah is of upmost importance. They have no written language even though it is closely tied to the official language of Iran, Farsi. This is a place where agriculture dominates the economy and a mix of Russians, Armenians, and Turks make up this people group. When it comes to sharing the gospel in the context of missions most people tend to focus on the 10/40 Window. This is where the majority of the clusters of unreached people groups are located. The Mazanderani of Iran is among those clusters. With a population of zero percent Christians the Mazanderani of Iran is one of the most unreached people groups. How would one begin when trying to reach the Mazanderani? Some would say it is not possible or it is too dangerous. These are some questions that this paper addresses. With the seemingly largest roadblock to reaching the Mazanderani being that there is no real written language, some would argue that discipleship, Bible study and reading of the scripture is impossible. Would a mission’s team be able to live and disciple among the lost people of the Mazanderani? If so, what nontraditional methods need to be employed to reach the goal of spreading the gospel and discipling in this Northern Iranian community? One method that could be employed is the story telling method. This is a proven method of evangelism because Jesus and the disciples used it. In fact since most people could not read or write in the first century it was the method for the early church. Setting up a systematic approach to story telling evangelism would be essential to reaching the Mazanderani. The paper will explain this how this will work in more detail.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
An understanding of the culture is one of the first steps a new missionary should take when entering into a new country. Harley Talman, who served in the Middle East, has what he calls his “become like” and “remain like” mentality. The first step is to become like the people he was ministering to. Talman says, “I saw that the more I “became like” my Muslim friends, the more likely they were to comprehend biblical truth and come to Christ”. This should be true for any mission’s experience. This will facilitate the connections with the people that the missionary is trying to minister to. With this same thinking in mind, ministry to the Mazanderani would be the same. Bordering the Caspian Sea, the Mazanderani live mostly as an agricultural society. With no real natural harbors they must build artificial ones. Iranian civilization prospered in the early days. This made this area very attractive to outside groups who wanted to occupy this territory. The Russian Empire conquered this region in 1723. The Russian Empire was not the first to conquer this area. In the twelve and thirteen hundreds the Mongols took over the province. The Mazanderani is a cultural blend of Russian, Armenians, Turkic tribes and smaller groups of Palavi, and Qadikolahi people. There are about 2.8 Million of these people living in this area. Mazanderani or Palari, is their official language. This language is closely tied to the official language of Iran, Farsi, but their language still remains unwritten. Most of the Mazanderani are established...

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Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV International Bible Society, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI 1984).
Moreau, A. Scott, Gary R. Corwin, and Gary B. McGee. Introducing World Missions a Biblical, Historical, and Practical Survey. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2004.
Murray, Andrew. Key to the Missionary Problem. Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature Crusade, 1979.
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