The Multani 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 nations, 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, and the Eastern and Western Ghats Mountains. Because of numerous geographical features, climatic conditions are also widely diversified on both a seasonal and regional basis, ranging from tropical to temperate extremes.
Although most of the Multani live in Pakistan, nearly 26,000 can be found scattered widely throughout India. Their language is called Siraiki and is part of the Indo-Aryan language family. Little is known about their specific lifestyle.
What Are Their Lives Like
About 73% of India's population lives in rural areas and is engaged in some form of agricultural activity. Many are farmers barely growing enough to survive. Farms are extremely small in size and often very fragmented. The raising of livestock, particularly horned cattle, buffalo, horses, and mules, is a central feature of the agricultural 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 secular 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, although 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 Multani to accurately place them in the caste system; thus, their particular lifestyle cannot be adequately described. Further research is needed to clearly identify their needs and to develop effective strategies for seeing them reached with the Gospel.
Since independence, the government of India has been highly attentive to the health problems of the nation. Despite vigorous efforts in the areas of preventive medicine, sanitation, and nutrition, health conditions remain poor. Much of the population continues to suffer from malnutrition, and starvation is a frequent result of drought.
What Are Their Belief?
About 12% of India's population practices Islam. Most of the Muslims are located in the northern states of Jammu and Kashmir. An armed conflict over independence continues in this area today. Islam, which was first brought to India from Central Asia in the twelfth century, has provided India with some of its most impressive architectural traditions. One of the most famous examples is the world-renowned Taj Mahal, located in Agra, northern India.
The Multani are overwhelmingly Muslim (99%). As such, they adhere to the five "pillars," or duties, of Islam. These include affirming that "there is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet;" praying five times daily; giving alms generously; fasting during the holy month of Ramadan; and making a pilgrimage to Mecca, if possible. Most of the Multani, however, do not have the opportunity to travel to Mecca on the Haj, or pilgrimage.
What Are Their Needs?
The Multani have the New Testament available in their language, but there are no missions agencies currently targeting them. The few Christian believers need discipleship materials to encourage and strengthen them in their walk with the Lord. Fervent intercession and increased missionary activity are necessities if the Multani of India are to be reached with the saving knowledge of the Cross.
- Ask the Lord of the harvest to send missionaries to live and work among the Multani of India.
- Pray that Christian radio broadcasts, the Jesus film, and evangelical literature will be made available to the Multani.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to prepare the hearts of the Multani to receive the Gospel message.
- Pray that God will reveal Himself to the Multani through dreams and visions.
- Pray that God will mightily use the Multani believers as they share Christ with their families and friends.
- Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that are keeping the Multani bound.
- Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
- Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Multani church for the glory of His name!
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
- People name: Multani
- Country: India
- Their language: Siraki (Thali)
- Largest religion:
- Christian: 1%
- Church members: 258
- Scriptures in their own language: New Testament
- Jesus Film in their own language: None
- Christian broadcasts in their own language: None
- Mission agencies working among this people: 0
- Persons who have heard the Gospel: 6,200 (24%)
- Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 19,600 (76%)
- Country: India
- Major peoples in size order:
- Major religions:
- Number of denominations: 8
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Bethany World Prayer Center
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