The Awadhi Abadhi of Nepal
Nepal is a small, mountainous kingdom, which lies at the base of the Himalayan Mountains. Sandwiched between India to the south and Tibet to the north, Nepal is home to about 110 ethnic groups, which speak a number of different languages and have a variety of religious beliefs. The 589,200 Awadhi Abadhi are located mainly in the southern Lumbini zone of Nepal. They speak an Indo-Aryan language called Awadhi.
The beautiful country of Nepal has long been hidden away and forgotten by most of the world. However, interest by tourists in art, architecture, and mountain climbing has increased in this region since the 1960's. Today, hikers and mountain climbers use Katmandu, the capital, as a base for expeditions to Mount Everest, as well as for hiking tours in the Middle and High Himalayas. However, Nepal faces major transportation obstacles because of its rugged terrain.
What Are Their Lives Like
Because of its rugged, mountainous terrain, only 19% of Nepal's land is cultivated. Yet, more than 90% of the people are peasant farmers who depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Farming methods are inefficient; consequently, Nepal remains poor and undeveloped. Most Nepali farms are small and produce barely enough to support one family. The major crops grown are sugarcane, rice, and maize, with some wheat, potatoes, and vegetables. Butter and cheese are regular parts of the Nepali diet; thus, cattle and water buffalo are important to their lifestyle. Farmers trade any surplus crops for other important items, such as kerosene and salt. Others supplement their incomes through craft work and tailoring.
Nepali culture is primarily Hindu-oriented. Many Hindu institutions, including the rigid caste (social class) system, have wide-ranging effects that permeate much of Nepali society. The word "caste" basically means breed, race, or kind. Castes may be defined by occupation or by kinship and lineage, although there are exceptions. Not enough is known about the Awadhi Abadhi to accurately place them in the caste system; thus, their particular lifestyle cannot be adequately described. There is some question as to whether the Awadhi Abadhi even exist as a distinct ethnic group. Some believe that they are simply a landless people who are part of other groups. However, other scholars identify them as an existing group with their own language (Awadhi). Further research is needed to clearly identify these people so they can be reached with the Gospel message.
What Are Their Belief?
The Awadhi Abadhi 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. It is instead a body of customs, practices, and beliefs that go through major changes every few hundred years.
The majority, but not all, 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), 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 (continuous cycle of death and rebirth) is one of the few unifying features of Hinduism.
What Are Their Needs?
The Awadhi Abadhi have portions of the Bible and the Jesus film available in their own language. In addition, one missions agency is working among them. However, only 1% have accepted Christ as their Savior. Sustained intercession and increased missionary activity are needed if the Awadhi Abadhi are to be won to Christ.
- Ask the Lord to call committed missionaries who will invest their lives in the Awadhi Abadhi.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to give creative ideas of evangelism to the missions agency that is working among them.
- Pray for effectiveness of the Jesus film among the Awadhi Abadhi, with many conversions resulting.
- Ask the Lord to soften the hearts of Nepal's governmental leaders to the preaching of the Gospel.
- Pray that signs and wonders will follow the Awadhi Abadhi as they share Christ with their own people.
- Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that are keeping the Awadhi Abadhi bound.
- Ask God to raise up a mighty army of prayer warriors who will intercede for the Awadhi Abadhi.
- Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Awadhi Abadhi church for the glory of His name!
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
- People name: Awadhi Abadhi
- Country: Nepal
- Their language: Awadhi (Kosali)
- Largest religion:
- Christian: 1%
- Church members: 5,892
- Scriptures in their own language: Portions
- Jesus Film in their own language: Available
- Christian broadcasts in their own language: None
- Mission agencies working among this people: 1
- Persons who have heard the Gospel: 182,700 (31%)
- Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 406,500 (69%)
- Country: Nepal
- Major peoples in size order:
- Major religions:
- Number of denominations: 27
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Bethany World Prayer Center
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