The Bangri of India
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 million. 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 5.7 million Bangri are located mainly in the states of Haryana, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Delhi. Their language, Bangaru, is a member of the Indo-Aryan language family. Little is known about their specific lifestyle and culture.
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. Their farms are extremely small and 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.
Many of the Bangri live in Haryana. Most of the land there is suitable for agriculture, with 60% of it being irrigated. The state is a major producer of wheat and rice. Other important crops include oilseeds, cotton, sugarcane, potatoes, barley, millet, maize, and pulses (edible seeds gathered from pea and bean crops).
Indian culture is primarily Hindu-oriented. Many Hindu institutions, including the rigid caste 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, though there are some 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 Bangri to accurately place them in the caste system; thus, their particular lifestyle cannot be adequately described.
What are their beliefs?
The Bangri are almost all Hindus, following 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 (its destroyer), Vishnu (its preserver), and the goddess Shaktri, they also worship a pantheon of other minor gods, their incarnations, spouses, or offspring. A belief in reincarnation (continuous cycle of death and rebirth) is one of the few unifying features of Hinduism.
What are their needs?
The Bangri do not have the Bible, the Jesus film, or Christian radio broadcasts available in their language. However, two missions agencies are currently working among them, and 1.6% have become Christians. These believers need discipleship materials to encourage and strengthen them in their walk with the Lord. Fervent intercession and additional missions efforts are needed to see the Bangri reached with the Gospel.
- Ask the Lord of the harvest to send additional laborers to the Bangri of India.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to anoint the efforts of the missions agencies that are targeting the Bangri.
- Pray that the Bible, the Jesus film, and Christian radio broadcasts will soon be available to the Bangri.
- Pray that God will supernaturally reveal Himself to the Bangri through dreams and visions.
- Pray that God will use the few Bangri believers to share the love of Christ with their own people.
- Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that have kept the Bangri bound for many generations.
- Ask God to raise up faithful intercessors who will stand in the gap for the Bangri.
- Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Bangri church for the glory of His name!
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
- People name: Bangri
- Country: India
- Their language: Bangaru
- Largest religion:
- Christians: 1.6%
- Church members: 92,425
- Scriptures in their own language: None
- Jesus Film in their own language: None
- Christian broadcasts in their own language: None
- Mission agencies working among this people: 2
- Persons who have heard the Gospel: 1,421,000 (25%)
- Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 4,355,500 (75%)
- Country: India
- Major peoples in size order:
- Major religions:
- Number of denominations: 163
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Bethany World Prayer Center
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