The Lhoba of India
India is a complex mosaic of ethnic, linguistic, religious, and social groupings. Because of this diversity, it is very 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 930,00,000. 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 219,300 Lhoba, who are part of this complex cultural milieu, are located mostly in the northern state of Arunachal Pradesh. Their language, Lhoba, is part of the Sino-Tibetan language family. The Lhoba of India are part of the Lhoba of China—one of China's national minorities.
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 and are 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 among some of the tribal populations.
Essentially all Buddhist groups in India today are groups that migrated from neighboring Buddhist countries (through choice or to avoid conflict), or groups that live along the borders with these countries. The basic lifestyle of Buddhist groups in India is not too different from the lifestyle of Hindus. The differences are only found in their religious practices. While there is considerable information on the Lhoba in China, little is known about those who live in India. It is assumed that elements of their lifestyle and culture would still be influenced by their Chinese origins.
What Are Their Belief?
All of the Lhoba are Buddhists. Buddhism teaches that right thinking, ritual sacrifices, and self-denial will enable the soul to reach nirvana (a state of eternal bliss). They daily live in fear of their gods and constantly strive to appease them with religious chants, rituals, and sacrifices. Buddhists believe that existence is a continuing cycle of death and rebirth (reincarnation). As long as a person remains within the cycle of death and rebirth, he can never be completely free from pain and suffering. The cycle can only be broken by achieving nirvana, and only those who follow the "middle way" and the "noble eight-fold path" can achieve nirvana. The "middle way" is a way of life that avoids both the uncontrolled satisfaction of human desires and the extreme forms of self-denial and self-torture. The "noble eight-fold path" consists of (1) knowledge of the truth; (2) the intention to resist evil; (3) saying nothing to hurt others; (4) respecting life, morality, and property; (5) holding a job that does not injure others; (6) striving to free one's mind of evil; (7) controlling one's feelings and thoughts; and (8) practicing proper forms of concentration. Monks are those who seriously seek nirvana; live a life of poverty, meditation, and study; and avoid sexual activity.
What Are Their Needs?
The Lhoba of India have no Christian resources available in their language, and there are no missions agencies currently targeting them. Increased intercession and missions efforts are desperately needed to see these precious people reached with the Light of the Gospel.
- Take authority over the spiritual principalities that are keeping the Lhoba bound.
- Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil through worship and intercession.
- Pray that God will reveal Himself to the Lhoba through dreams and visions.
- Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers to live and work among the Lhoba.
- Ask God to speed the completion of the Jesus film and other evangelistic materials into the Lhoba language.
- Pray that God will raise up qualified linguists to translate the Bible into the Lhoba language.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Lhoba towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
- Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Lhoba church for the glory of His name!
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
- People name: Lhoba
- Country: India
- Their language: Lhoba
- Largest religion:
- Christian: 0%
- Church members: 0
- Scriptures in their own language: None
- 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: 15,400 (7%)
- Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 203,900 (93%)
- 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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