The Hindustani 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 935,000,000. 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 Ghat Mountains. Because of numerous geographical features, climatic conditions are also diversified on both a seasonal and regional basis, ranging from tropical to temperate extremes.
Little is known about the specific location, lifestyle, or culture of the 935,700 Hindustani. Their Indo-Aryan language (which is also known as Caribbean Hindi) is spoken mainly in Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad, and Tobago.
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 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 among some tribal populations. Not enough is known about the Hindustani to accurately place them in the caste system. 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. But 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?
India is about 12% Muslim, with most of them located in the northern state 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 in northern India.
The Hindustani are predominantly Muslim (55%), with the remainder being Hindu (40%). Those who are Muslim 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 Muslim Hindustani, however, do not have the opportunity to travel to Mecca on the Haj, or pilgrimage.
What Are Their Needs?
The Hindustani have the New Testament available in their own language, and there is a single missions agency currently targeting them. However, 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 Hindustani of India are to be reached with the saving knowledge of the Cross.
- Ask the Lord of the harvest to send missionaries to minister Life to the Hindustani of India.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to give creative ideas for evangelism to the missions agency that is targeting the Hindustani.
- Pray that the Jesus film and discipleship materials will be made available in the Hindustani language.
- Ask God to anoint the Gospel as it goes forth via radio in their area.
- Pray that signs and wonders will follow the Hindustani believers as they share Christ with their families and friends.
- Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that are keeping the Hindustani bound.
- Ask God to raise up a mighty army of prayer warriors who will faithfully intercede for the Hindustani.
- Pray that strong local churches will be raised up among the Hindustani by the year 2000.
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
- People name: Hindustani
- Country: India
- Their language: Hindustani
- Largest religion:
- Christian: <1%
- Church members: 468
- 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: 365,400 (40%)
- Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 570,300 (60%)
- 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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