Gujarati in Myanmar (Burma)

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Gujarati are primarily classified as the inhabitants of the state of Gujarat, western India. For most of them, Gujarati is their native language. They are a complex people group, speaking various dialects and having many cultural distinctions. Some of these differences are based on region, while others are based on their "caste" (social class) or community.

Today there are significant Gujarati communities in some 27 nations. Many are in Africa but others can also be found in Myanmar, Iran, and Malaysia. Living conditions in these countries vary; however, the Gujarati who have emigrated are usually from the higher, wealthier castes and have maintained many aspects of their own culture. They are often involved in trade or in operating small businesses.

Gujarat is one of the most industrialized states in India. Its lengthy coastline and numerous harbors have made it a focal point of travel and trade. The Gujarati are known as being resourceful businessmen. This has helped them to successfully emigrate and thrive around the world.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Gujarati are divided into a number of social groups. In Gujarat, villages generally lie in clusters and sub-clusters based on the "caste" system. The castes are actually culture groups, based not only on occupations, but also on such things as customs, manners, and habits.

The Hindus, who make up the largest group, are divided into a number of castes or jatis. The structure of their society is based on the principles of "purity and pollution." The priestly class, known as the Brahmin, is in the highest position, while servants and laborers are in the lowest caste. Unfortunately, despite various degrees of acculturation, most Hindus retain their strong cultural ties.

Most marriages in Gujarati societies are arranged. For the Hindu Gujarati, caste and social rank are very important considerations. The Muslim Gujarati are only allowed to marry those from selected groups. They also practice purdah, which means that the women are required to wear veils and remain isolated. Marriage is considered to be an alliance between two families, not just two individuals.

The folklore of the Hindu Gujarati reflects the mythology surrounding the Hindu deity, Krishna. Dances in honor of Krishna have survived in the form of the popular folk dance known as garaba.

Although textiles, plastics, chemicals, and heavy machinery are produced in Gujarat, the majority of the working class are farmers. Wheat and grain are staple crops, and rice is produced in wetter areas. Monsoons are the key to existence for the Gujarati farmers. They are not yet fully equipped with machinery, but the use of tractors has increased.

The state of Gujarat has long been an important center for trade, and their merchants have been sent all over the world. Because their commercial skills have been combined with their natural dedication, the Gujarati have become successful in business ventures internationally.

They are usually Hindu, but a significant minority is Muslim.
What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of the Gujarati are Hindus, regardless of their location in the world. However, a significant number of them have maintained their Muslim ties. The Hindu clergy are drawn from the highest caste, the Brahmins. Therefore, becoming a priest is essentially a matter of birthright, although not all Brahmins practice as priests.

Hindus worship many gods, some of which are animals. Cows are sacred, but they revere monkeys, snakes, and other animals as well. They teach such things as yoga and reincarnation (a continual cycle of death and rebirth). They believe that the soul may be reincarnated as an animal or as a human. The law of karma states that every action influences how the soul will be born in the next life. If a person lives a good life, his soul will be born into a higher state. Whereas, if he leads an evil life, his soul will be born into a lower state, perhaps even as a worm! The cycle continues until spiritual perfection is achieved. Then the soul enters moksha, a new level of existence, from which it never returns.

Hindu shrines contain sculptured images of their gods. Everyday priests wash and dress the images and bring them food. This is not considered idol worship since they believe the gods are actually present in the images.

The Gujarati Hindus hope to better their positions in this life and in the life to come by exhibiting charity, being devoted to the gods, and showing mercy to fellow humans and cows.

On the other hand, the Gujarati Muslims (usually Sunni), often despise the Hindus. The Muslims look down upon their worship of millions of gods and are not hesitant to express the prejudices they feel.

What Are Their Needs?

In many countries where there are Gujarati communities, there are no missionary agencies focusing on this people group. The Bible is available in their language, but the Gujarati must see Christianity lived out. Only then will they understand that true freedom and peace are found in Jesus Christ alone.

Prayer alone has the power to release these Hindus from the bondage of worshiping many gods. Likewise, only intercession can break the strongholds of Islam.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to raise up missionaries who are willing to share Christ with the Gujaratis.
Pray that God will give the missions agencies wisdom, favor, and strategies for reaching the Gujarati.
Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the small number of Christians living among them.
Pray that Gujarati Christians will be bold in their witness for Christ.
Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Gujaratis towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
Pray that Gujarati businessmen will be evangelized and take the Gospel to their own people.
Ask the Lord to raise up strong fellowships of believers among the Gujarati.

Scripture Prayers for the Gujarati in Myanmar (Burma).

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Gujarati
People Name in Country Gujarati
Pronunciation goo-jah-RAH-tee
Alternate Names Bajania; Gujarani; Indo-Pakistani; Karana; Parsi; Shahinshahi; Zarabe; Zardasht; Zarushti
Population this Country 35,000
Population all Countries 3,518,000
Total Countries 29
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 11982
ROP3 Code 103544
ROP25 Code 302844
ROP25 Name Gujarati
Country Myanmar (Burma)
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 17  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Myanmar (Burma)
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 17  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Map of Gujarati in Myanmar (Burma) Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.41 %)
0.80 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
84.20 %
13.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
2.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Gujarati (35,000 speakers)
Language Code guj   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Gujarati (35,000 speakers)
Language Code guj   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Gujarati

Primary Language:  Gujarati

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1809-1965)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1820-1985)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1823-2021)
FCBH NT ( Online
YouVersion NT ( Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Online Scripture / Bible General / Other
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories Story Runners
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Gujarati Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Four Spiritual Laws Campus Crusade for Christ
General Gospel website in this language General / Other
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
General Zume Resources Zume Project
General Zume Training Zume Project
Mobile App Android Bible app direct APK download SIL
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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