Map of Baluch Territory















The Baluch trace their history back about 2000 years. Many of them call Syria their ancestral home; however, the relationship between their language and Kurdish indicates origins in north-western Iran as well.


Many Baluch live in the highlands of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. In this region rain is sparse and unreliable. They are pastoralists and farmers. Those living on the coast are fishermen.


Tough economic conditions have driven many Baluch to industrial areas. Today, over a million live in Karachi, Pakistan. There are also large numbers in several Gulf States.


The Baluch have a rich and ancient tradition of poetry. Many of their poems speak about their hard life in their barren homeland:


"The Baluch forts are

their mountains,

Their storehouses are the pathless rock faces,

The peaks are better than

an army for them,

The lofty heights are their friends,

Their refreshment is from

flowing springs,

The leaf of the dwarf palm

their cup,

The thorn brush their bed,

The hard ground their pillow ..."


These difficult living conditions have made the Baluch a people renowned for their endurance, toughness, courage and independence.


Their dream of an independent Baluchistan has not yet come to fruition. On the contrary, the Baluch have been politically and economically marginalized, and there is disunity among their tribal leaders. The young people often end up addicted to heroin, as their dream of getting work is thwarted by the high unemployment rate.


There are between five and six million Baluch. Apart from a few exceptions, all are Sunni Muslims. Animistic beliefs and secularism also influence their daily lives. There are very few Christians among them.


Christian work among the Baluch is still in its infancy. The fact that much of Baluchistan is not open for expatriate workers makes reaching the people difficult. A further obstacle to the work is the fact that the language has various dialects. However, several Christian groups are seeking to reach the Baluch who live in Pakistan and in places outside Baluchistan.


The New Testament, which was translated some years ago, is in the process of being extensively revised. Gospel tapes are available for those who can't read, and now Christian radio programmes are being broadcast.