Prayer Profile
The Chhattisgarhi of India

[IMAGE] India is a complex mosaic of ethnic, linguistic, religious, and social groupings. Because of this diversity, it is extremely difficult to adequately describe any single people group. Ranking second only to China among the world's most populous countries, India has a population of more than 935,000,000. The overall population density is about 762 people per square mile.

India may be divided into four main regions: the Himalayas, the northern river-plains region, the Deccan Plateau, and the Eastern and Western Ghat Mountains. Because of its numerous geographical features, climatic conditions are also widely diversified on both a seasonal and regional basis, ranging from tropical to temperate extremes.

The 11 million Chhattisgarhi are located mainly in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Orissa. Their language is a member of the Indo-Aryan language family. Despite the significant size of their population, little is known about their specific way of life.

What are their lives like?
About 73% of India's population lives in rural areas and is engaged in some form of agriculture. Many are farmers who barely grow enough to survive. Farms are extremely small in size and are often very fragmented. The raising of livestock, particularly horned cattle, buffalo, horses, and mules, is a central feature of the economy. Because of Hindu influence, however, these animals are used almost exclusively as beasts of burden rather than sources of meat.

Indian culture is primarily Hindu-oriented. Many Hindu institutions, including the rigid caste (social class) system, have wide-ranging effects on Indian society. The word "caste" basically means breed, race, or kind. Indian society is divided into hierarchical castes which are usually endogamous (marriage only within the caste). Castes may be defined by occupation or by kinship and lineage, but there are exceptions. Nevertheless, caste is so fundamental to the social organization of India that it prevails in all parts, except some of the tribal populations.

Not enough is known about the Chhattisgarhi to accurately place them in the caste system; thus, their particular lifestyle and culture cannot be adequately described. Additional research is necessary to clearly identify these people so they can be reached with the Gospel.

What are their beliefs?
The Chhattisgarhi are 98% Hindu and follow the basic Hindu customs and traditions. The term "Hinduism" came into use about A.D.1200, but clearly identifying what Hindus believe is difficult. The religion has no founder, no prophet, and no instructional structure. It is a way of living much more than a theology; it is a philosophy more than a religion. Contrary to popular belief in the West, Hinduism is not an ancient, fixed set of beliefs. Rather, it is a body of customs, practices, and beliefs which go through major changes every few hundred years.

The majority of Hindus believe in a supreme being. Some respect all life and eat only vegetables, while others will gladly eat meat from sacrifices in the temple. To some, their religion is highly personal; to others, it is impersonal. While most Hindus worship Brahman ("the creator of the universe"), Shiva ("the destroyer"), Vishnu ("the preserver"), and the goddess Shaktri, they also worship a pantheon of other minor gods, their incarnations, spouses, or offspring. A belief in reincarnation (continual cycle of death and rebirth) is one of the few unifying features of Hinduism.

What are their needs?
Because they are one of the larger people groups in India, the Chhattisgarhi do have portions of the Bible and the Jesus film available in their own language. Christian radio broadcasts are also being aired in their region. In addition, a missions agency is currently working among them. Nevertheless, less than 1% of the Chhattisgarhi have become Christians. The believers need discipleship materials to encourage and strengthen them in their walk with the Lord. Fervent intercession and increased missions efforts will be required to reach the Chhattisgarhi with the Good News of the Gospel message.

Prayer Points

  • Ask the Lord of the harvest to send additional laborers to work among the Chhattisgarhi of India.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to the missions agency that is working among the Chhattisgarhi.
  • Pray for opportunities to show the Jesus film to millions of Chhattisgarhi.
  • Ask God to open the spiritual ears of the Chhattisgarhi as they listen to Christian radio broadcasts.
  • Pray that God will give the Chhattisgarhi believers boldness to share Christ with their own people.
  • Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that are keeping the Chhattisgarhi bound.
  • Ask God to raise up a mighty army of prayer warriors who will faithfully intercede for the Chhattisgarhi of India.
  • Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Chhattisgarhi church for the glory of His name!

Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.


  • People name: Chhattisgarhi
  • Country: India
  • Their language: Chhattisgarhi
  • Population: (1990) 10,022,900
    (1995) 11,025,700
    (2000) 12,042,300
  • Largest religion: Hindu 98%
    Nonreligious 1.7%
  • Christians: <1%
  • Church members: 33,077
  • Scriptures in their own language: Portions
  • Jesus Film in their own language: Available
  • Christian broadcasts in their own language: Available
  • Mission agencies working among this people: 1
  • Persons who have heard the Gospel: 4,994,600 (45%) Those evangelized by local Christians: 584,400 (5%)
    Those evangelized from the outside: 4,410,200 (40%)
  • Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 6,031,100 (55%)
  • Country: India
  • Population: (1990) 850,638,100
    (1995) 935,744,300
    (2000) 1,022,021,300
  • Major peoples in size order: Hindi (High Hindi) 9.5%
    Telegu 7.8%
    Maratha 7.4%
    Bengali 6.4%
    Hindi (Bazaar, Popular) 5.5%
  • Major religions: Hindus 78.2%
    Muslims 12%
    Christians 4.3%
  • Number of denominations: 163

© Copyright 1997
Bethany World Prayer Center

This profile may be copied and distributed without obtaining permission
as long as it is not altered, bound, published
or used for profit purposes.

[Home] [Calendar] [Country List]