Bengali-speaking South Asian in Turkmenistan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Bengali people are the third largest ethnic group in the world behind the Han Chinese and Arabs. The homeland of the Bengalis is northeast India and Bangladesh. The Bangla language is the seventh most spoken language in the world. During the era of the British Empire, thousands of Bengali people left India and migrated to areas all over the world. Some have found their home in Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan is a former Soviet republic located in Central Asia. In Middle Ages it was a wealthy land due to its position on the Silk Road. Russia annexed Turkmenistan in 1881. In 1925 Turkmenistan became a member of the Soviet Union. Turkmenistan gained its independence in 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Today the country has the fourth highest reserved of natural gas in the world. The Karakum Desert takes up most of the land area of Turkmenistan. Crops must be irrigated.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Production of natural gas and oil are the main sources of income in the economy of Turkmenistan. The government is attempting to diversify the economy due to the fluctuating prices of gas and oil. Turkmenistan exports electrical power to its neighbors. Cotton and wheat are the main crops. All citizens including physicians and university professors are required by the government to pick cotton during the harvest. Tourism is a growing industry. Most Bengalis occupy a middle class position in Turkmenistan. They own shops, restaurants, small business and work as managers and clerks in the petroleum and tourist industries. The ability to speak English as well as Russian and the native Turkmen language gives the Bengalis an advantage in their business dealings. The father is the head of the Bengali family. He shares leadership with his wife over the children. A woman has a higher place in the Bengali home than in many Asian cultures. Parents encourage their sons and daughters to excel in education and obtain college degrees. Bengalis try to maintain their ethnic identity. In traditional Bengali culture, the parents chose the spouse of their children. This practice has changed where young people frequently choose their life partner with their parents’ guidance. Parents strongly encourage their sons and daughters to marry within Bengali people and culture.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of the Bengalis in Turkmenistan practice Hinduism although there is a sizable group of Muslims among them. The Hindu Bengalis need to be very careful in the expression of their faith in Muslim Turkmenistan. Many Muslims consider Hindus to be idolaters. Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Bengalis visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hope of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians do with their heavenly Father. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. The main yearly holidays of the Bengali Hindus people are Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama’s birthday. A small number of Bengalis in Turkmenistan are Russian Orthodox believers.

What Are Their Needs?

The Bengalis of Turkmenistan need to come to understand that Jesus is more than another Hindu guru or Muslim prophet. He alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the South Asian, Bengali-speaking in Turkmenistan.

Pray for an opening of spiritual understanding among all Bengalis. Ask the Lord to lead Christian believers and churches in Turkmenistan to reach out and build friendships with the Bengalis. Pray that the small number of Christ followers in Turkmenistan will be a light for the Bengali people. Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Bengalis Muslims and Hindus towards Christ so that they will be receptive to the gospel. Pray the Lord raises up a Disciple Making Movement among the Bengalis of Turkmenistan in this decade.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General South Asian, Bengali-speaking
People Name in Country South Asian, Bengali-speaking
Natural Name Bengali-speaking South Asian
Population this Country 700
Population all Countries 1,901,000
Total Countries 21
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Bangla-Bhasa; Bengali, Muslims; Hindu; साउत एशियन, बिंगाली-स्पीकिंग
People ID 10790
ROP3 Code 101254
Country Turkmenistan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 23  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Turkmenistan
Region Asia, Central
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 23  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Bengali (700 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Bengali (700 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Bengali

Primary Language:  Bengali

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1800-1980)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1801-1984)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1832-2016)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (Global Recordings Network)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament - Bangla Version (Faith Comes By Hearing)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament - Mussolmani Version (Faith Comes By Hearing)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament- Common Version (Faith Comes By Hearing)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories in Bengali
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Love Story
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Bengali
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Rivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
Film / Video The Savior 3 - Woman at the Well
Film / Video The Savior 8 - Jesus is Risen
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
5.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
75.00 %
20.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Other Christian
Roman Catholic
Photo Source COMIBAM / Sepal 
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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