The Kiutze 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 over 930,000,000. 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 widely diversified on a seasonal and regional basis, ranging from tropical to temperate extremes.
The 56,100 Kiutze, who are part of this complex cultural milieu, are located mostly in the north near the Myanmar-Tibet border. Their language, Rawang, is part of the Sino-Tibetan 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 agricultural activity. Many are farmers who barely grow enough to survive. Their 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 that 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 Kiutze to accurately describe their particular lifestyle and culture. Additional research is needed to clearly identify their needs and develop strategies to reach them with the Gospel.
What Are Their Belief?
The Kiutze are predominantly ethnic religionists. Ethnic religions are generally syncretistic, most usually blending aspects of ancestor worship (praying to the dead for guidance or blessings) and animism. Animism includes the belief that forces and aspects of nature—wind, rivers, trees, and earth—are connected with spirits or supernatural beings. These spirits are hardly ever worshipped or consulted regarding moral issues of life. Rather, they are points of contact for people who are attempting to solve the urgent practicalities of life, such as securing food, curing illness, and averting danger. The spirits are not to be truly worshipped, but venerated and hopefully manipulated to the petitioner's advantage through sacrifice and ritual.
Ancestral spirits of mythical leaders are often believed to have power over matters of concern to the entire society, such as rain and the growth of crops and cattle; whereas, spirits of heads of families and clans are said to influence matters of immediate concern to the particular families. The spirits are generally regarded as very helpful to their living descendants and are propitiated through regular sacrifice and ritual as well as at times of crisis when help is needed.
It is assumed the influence of Buddhism is also strong among the Kiutze, with many celebrations and religious festivals following the Buddhist calendar.
What Are Their Needs?
The Kiutze have the Bible available in their language, and there is a single missions agency currently targeting them. However, increased intercession and missions efforts are necessities. The known believers (about 3% of the population) need discipleship materials to encourage and strengthen them in their Christian walk.
- Take authority over the spiritual principalities that have kept the Kiutze bound for many generations.
- Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into the Kiutze.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to the missions agency that is targeting the Kiutze.
- Pray that God will reveal Himself to these precious people through dreams and visions.
- Ask God to speed the completion of the Jesus film and other evangelistic materials into the Rawang language.
- Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the small number of Kiutze Christians.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to complete the work begun in the hearts of the Kiutze believers through adequate discipleship.
- Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Kiutze by the year 2000.
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
- People name: Kiutze
- Country: India
- Their language: Rawng
- Largest religion:
- Christian: 3%
- Church members: 1,684
- Scriptures in their own language: Bible
- Jesus Film in their own language: None
- Christian broadcasts in their own language: None
- Mission agencies working among this people: 1
- Persons who have heard the Gospel: 15,200 (28%)
- Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 40,900 (72%)
- 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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