Persian-speaking people outside of Iran Est.  Pop.
United States 1,560,000
Turkey 800,000
United Arab Emirates & Bahrain 560,000
Iraq 250,000
Germany 110,000
England 80,000
Canada 75,000
France 62,000
India 60,000
Australia 60,000
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) 50,000
Isreal 50,000
Lebanon 50,000
Philippines, Korea & Japan 50,000
Russia & Other Former Soviet Union countries 50,000
Syria 50,000
Pakistan 40,000
Egypt & North Africa 20,000
Greece 20,000
Kuwait 20,000
Austria 15,000
Spain & Portugal 15,000
Sweden 15,000
Other Countries & Areas with Significant Persian-speaking population include:  
Eastern Europe
South Africa

Persian World Outreach -
Iranian Christian International
Iranian Christians Report by ICI


Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, millions of Persian speaking peoples have migrated to other parts of the Middle East, to the United States, Europe, and other areas of the world.

Iranians in the United States

A Different Kind of Immigrant

Most Iranians who immigrated to the United States following Iran's 1978-1979 revolution do not fit into the typical stereotype of an immigrant (poor, oppressed, not knowing English, etc.). Many came to the United States with money, had already studied English, possessed a good education, and had strong backgrounds in business.

Most Iranians in the United States are working, and many own their own businesses. At the same time, there are still many Iranian immigrants who have not learned English, particularly older people and women.

Desire to Assimilate
Unlike many other people groups, Iranians do not isolate themselves from other cultures. A very gracious people, many are friendly and desire cross-cultural relationships. Unfortunately, this desire to assimilate to an American lifestyle also shows up in a general preoccupation with materialism.

At the same time, Iranians do not neglect their own culture. With the largest concentration living in Los Angeles, a large Iranian community known as Little Persia has emerged in an area just west of Hollywood.

Of all the Muslim people groups, the Iranians are perhaps the most open to other views. After suffering from religious oppression in Iran, many are disillusioned with Islam. They are suspicious of religious dogma and/or fanaticism, and value freedom of religion.

Population: Approximately 2 million
Religions: Muslim, Jewish, Armenian Christian, Zororastrian and some Persian Christians
Language: Farsi (many speak English)
Geographical Locations: Highest concentration in California (est. 700,000) - primarily located in San Fernando Valley and Orange County; second highest in Washington DC area (est. 100,000)

Profile: Assimilation
The desire to assimilate into American culture opens many doors for ministry. Eight Iranian women who either live alone or with busy families are finding their needs met through ESL classes and times for fellowship and relationships. Several women say that those ministering to them in this way are angels that God has sent to them to take care of them, to visit them and to help them in various ways more than their own families have helped them. Several Iranian men and women have also been attending a Sunday afternoon "Seekers" class on "Knowing God".

Hearing God's word and worshipping in their "heart" language of Farsi can be particularly meaningful to these Iranians. One Iranian man who professes to be a believer, and came to Christ through an American church, desires fellowship and discipleship in the Farsi language. Another Iranian man has been attending an American church and is seeking to deepen his understanding of Christ and Christianity in Farsi.