Nearly 150,000 Salar live in mountainous areas near the Yellow River. Community living is important to the Salar, and villages are the largest units of their society. Each village has its own mosque and cemetery. Extended families commonly live together in two-story adobe (cement block) houses. Their homes are characterized by intricately carved pillars, door frames, and eaves. Fruit trees are planted within adobe-walled courtyards behind the houses.
The Salar people have a rich and colorful tradition of folklore passed down from generation to generation. Legends like the following live on among the Salar: In the 11th century, the Salar fled persecution in their homeland of Uzbekistan and migrated across the mountains of Central Asia. After wandering for months, an imam had a dream of a waterfall, which the Salar believed was a sign from Allah. The next day, the Salar came upon the waterfall, and after stopping to take a drink, a camel turned to stone. (NOTE: Who took the drink? The people or a camel?) After this sign was given, the Salar settled and built their villages.
Engagement // What’s Happening Now
In the blog “Backpacker” a global worker retells the account of observing backpackers in the mountainous regions. He finds similarities in the way that backpackers view life, such as seeking success, “their whole life, even from childhood, the Chinese are drilled to be highly educated and successful to gain happiness and purpose. There’s nothing but great shame and disappointment when this isn’t accomplished”, says the global worker.
Sustainability // The Bigger Story
Currently, there are almost no believers among the Salar. In order to reach the Salar much prayer will be required. Visit Priority 31 to learn about how you can be part of the global church in praying for the Salar to know Jesus.
Partnership // Move Beyond
Please spend a few minutes in prayer for:
- No church has ever been established among the Salar, and there are only a few Christians. Pray that the Holy Spirit would stir the hearts of believers to minister among the Salar.
- The Salar have a reputation of being zealous Muslims. Pray that the church would be established and that the Salar would confess faith in Christ.