The Dogri of Pakistan
Pakistan is a land characterized by great geographic, climatic, linguistic, religious, and ethnic diversity. With a population of nearly 140.5 million, it is home to more than 90 distinct ethnic groups, with the major ones being the Punjabi, Sindhi, Pathan, and Urdu. This varied ethnological background is largely a result of repeated invasions during Pakistan's long history.
Scattered throughout Pakistan and often intermingled with the larger ethnic groups are many smaller groups, one of which is the Dogri. The name "Dogri" seems to be more geographic than ethnic. Although most of the 2.1 million Dogri have made their homes in the north Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir, 817,000 live across the border in Pakistan. Since the partition of the two countries in 1947, there have been many disputes and much fighting over the border. The Dogri speak an Indo-Aryan language (also called Dogri) that is a mixture of Sanskrit, Punjabi, and Persian.
What Are Their Lives Like
About 26% of Pakistan's land is suitable for farming, with most of that land being irrigated. Agriculture and related activities engage about half of the work force, and more than 65% of the people live in rural areas. Agricultural yield has been low because of the large number of sharecroppers who have little incentive to increase production. In an attempt to deal with the problem, reform and progressive taxes have been introduced. In the 1960's and 1970's, wheat production dramatically increased, due to the use of improved irrigation techniques and fertilizers. These increases enabled Pakistan to become agriculturally self-sufficient, but there are still occasional shortages of staple items.
Wheat is the staple crop, and sugarcane is widely grown. Cotton and rice are the major export crops. Although the number of livestock per person is high, the production of meat and milk remains low because of inadequate feed and poor management. Goats and sheep are the most common animals, followed by cattle, buffalo, and camels.
Family organization is patriarchal (dominated by the males), and most people live in large extended families. A woman's place in society is low, and she is restricted to domestic chores and to fulfilling the role of a dutiful wife and mother. In wealthy peasant and land owner households and in urban middle class families, women are kept in seclusion, or purdah. If they do leave the house, they must be veiled. Houses of those who practice purdah typically have a men's section (mardanah) at the front of the house, so that visitors do not disturb the women, who are secluded in the women's section (zananah). Poorer peasant families do not generally practice purdah, since the women have duties on the farm.
Social structure revolves around kinship rather than caste. Beradari (tracing ancestry through the males) is the most important social institution. Men prefer to marry the daughters of their fathers' brothers; thus, among many groups, marriages are invariably within the beradari. The elders of a lineage constitute a council that settles disputes and represents the lineage to the outside world.
What Are Their Belief?
The dominant religion of Pakistan is Islam, which is followed by about 97% of the population. Hinduism and Christianity form the leading minority religions. The Dogri are included in the majority group, being 85% Muslim. The Pakistani constitution defines the country as an Islamic nation but guarantees freedom of religion. In reality, however, there is much persecution of Christians.
What Are Their Needs?
The Dogri have the New Testament available in their own language, and one missions agency is currently targeting them. In addition, Christian broadcasts are being aired in their native language. As a result, 2% of the Dogri have become Christians. However, the believers need materials and discipleship programs to encourage and strengthen them in their Christian walk. Sustained intercession and increased missions efforts are still necessities if the Church is to be firmly established among the Dogri of Pakistan.
- Ask the Lord of the harvest to send additional laborers to share the Gospel with the Dogri of Pakistan.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to the missions agency that is targeting the Dogri.
- Pray that the Jesus film and Christian discipleship materials will be made available to the Dogri.
- Ask God to anoint the spiritual ears of the Dogri as they listen to Christian broadcasts in their own language.
- Pray that God will give the Dogri believers many opportunities to share the love of Christ with their own people.
- Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that are keeping the Dogri 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 Dogri church for the glory of His name!
See also the following related group:
the Dogri of India.
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
- People name: Dogri
- Country: Pakistan
- Their language: Dogri
- Largest religion:
- Christian: 2%
- Church members: 16,350
- Scriptures in their own language: New Testament
- Jesus Film in their own language: None
- Christian broadcasts in their own language: Available
- Mission agencies working among this people: 1
- Persons who have heard the Gospel: 318,80 (39%)
- Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 498,700 (61%)
- Country: Pakistan
- Major peoples in size order:
- Major religions:
- Number of denominations: 37
© Copyright 1997
Bethany World Prayer Center
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