Prayer Profile
The Sindhi of Malaysia

[IMAGE] The 20,100 Sindhi of Malaysia believe that their earliest ancestors came from the region where the Indus River flows into the Arabian Sea, an area that now divides India and Pakistan. The Sindhi are considered to be one of India and Pakistan's oldest ethnic groups. They are named after the Indus River, which in Arabic, is called the Sindhu River.

Until Pakistan became an independent Muslim country in 1947, the Hindu and Muslim Sindhi lived together in the same region. Today, however, most of the Muslims live in Pakistan and most of the Hindus live in India. A majority of the Hindu Sindhi migrated to metropolitan areas of India, such as Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, and Madras. Many others moved to various countries, including Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Today, nearly 10% of Malaysia's population is Indian, of which the Sindhi are a small minority.

What Are Their Lives Like?
Before the partition of Pakistan and India, the Hindu Sindhi owned most of the land. They also monopolized the areas of trade, industry, and education. The Muslim Sindhi were primarily unskilled laborers and tenants. However, when the Hindu Sindhi moved to India in 1947, the Sindhi culture was greatly affected.

Prior to the move, the Sindhi language was used as the language of law, administration, and education. After the move to India and other countries, a greater emphasis was placed on being Indian or Hindu rather than being Sindhi. Therefore, many of the Sindhi have not passed their native language on to their children. Instead, they quickly learned the local languages. Those who moved to Gujarat learned Gujarati and those who moved to Madras learned Tamil.

Hindu Sindhi are known as skilled merchants. Successful Sindhi shopkeepers can not only be found in many large Malaysian cities, but also in urban areas of Kenya, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Others have become doctors, lawyers, or teachers.

As with all Hindus, Sindhi life is based on and limited by belonging to a particular social class, or caste. Even the Sindhi Muslims tend to organize in social classes based along hereditary and occupational lines.

The Sindhi traditionally do not marry outside of their own social classes. While Hindu Sindhi marriages are monogamous, Muslim Sindhi are allowed to have up to four wives—if they are able to provide adequately for each of them.

What Are Their Beliefs?
Almost 93% of the Malaysian Sindhi are Hindus. They worship the three main Hindu gods: Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), and Shiva (the destroyer), along with a multitude of other gods and goddesses. Some scholars say that the number of individual gods actually exceeds 35 million! Most of the deities are believed to be both good and evil in nature.

One important aspect of Hinduism is the belief that the soul never dies, but is continually reborn after the body dies. This continuous process is known as reincarnation. Hinduism has no single book, but has many sacred writings. The most important of these are the Vedas and the Bhagavad-Gita.

Only a small minority (4%) of the Sindhi in Malaysia are Muslims. In areas where Hindus and Muslims have had close contact, there has been a considerable blending of rites and traditions. For instance, it was not uncommon for both Hindus and Muslims to honor the same saint. The practice of saint worship is still observed in rural areas.

What Are Their Needs?
Although a translation of the Bible, the Jesus film, and Christian broadcasts are already available in their language, only 1% of the Sindhi in Malaysia have received Christ. Prayer is the key to reaching them with the Gospel.

Prayer Points

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to complete the work begun in the hearts of the Sindhi believers through adequate discipleship.
  • Pray that God will use these young believers to share the love of Christ with their own people.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to anoint the Christian broadcasts that are being aired in the Sindhi language.
  • Pray for the effectiveness of the Jesus film among the Sindhi.
  • Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that are keeping the Sindhi bound.
  • Ask the Lord to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
  • Pray that God will reveal Himself to these precious people through dreams and visions.
  • Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Sindhi church for the glory of His name!

See also:
The Sindhi of India, The Sindhi of Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.


  • People name: Sindhi
  • Country: Malaysia
  • Their language: Sindhi
  • Population: (1990) 17,900
    (1995) 20,100
    (2000) 22,300
  • Largest religion: Hindu 92.9%
    Muslim 4%
    Sikh 2%
  • Christians: 1.1%
  • Church members: 222
  • Scriptures in their own language: Bible
  • Jesus Film in their own language: Available
  • Christian broadcasts in their own language: Available
  • Mission agencies working among this people: 0
  • Persons who have heard the Gospel: 7,300 (36%) Those evangelized by local Christians: 1,400 (7%)
    Those evangelized from the outside: 5,900 (29%)
  • Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 12,800 (64%)
  • Country: Malaysia
  • Population: (1990) 17,891,500
    (1995) 20,298,700
    (2000) 22,298,700
  • Major peoples in size order: Malay 33.2%
    Han Chinese (Hokkien) 8.7%
    Tamil 7.2%
    Han Chinese (Hakka) 7.1%
  • Major religions: Muslim 50.5%
    Chinese folk-religionist 24.3%
    Christian 8.9%
  • Number of denominations: 41

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Bethany World Prayer Center

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