Introduction / History
The Newah, better known as the Newar, is a prestigious community found mainly in Nepal. They are the historical inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. They were farmers and traders at a time when there was peace and stability in this region, resulting in greater prosperity for this community. Stability allowed Newar people to develop art, architecture, and culture in their region.
Where Are they Located?
Most Newar people live in Nepal, but there are sizable populations in both India and Bhutan.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Many girls dream of becoming a princess. Among Newar group members in India, Nepal and Bhutan, some girls become goddesses! Every 13 years they choose a newborn girl to be the incarnation of the goddess Hindu Kumari. Once chosen, she will live in a temple where she will be worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists. When she reaches puberty, however, another newborn girl will replace her.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Parents arrange marriages for their children through a mediator. They are careful to make sure their children marry well; the Newar people have high status, which can be jeopardized by a "wrong" marriage.
All members of the same family worship the same deity. Though the Newar people are considered Hindu in other parts of South Asia, most are Buddhist in Bhutan, a Buddhist country. In actuality, their religion is a blend of Buddhism and Hinduism.
What Are Their Needs?
Although there are about 1,000 Newar believers in Jesus, there is much work to be done before this group can be considered adequately reached with the gospel.
Pray that the Newar will avail themselves of the Bible, and that God will call and equip people and agencies to evangelize them.
Pray that God will embolden Newar believers to witness to their neighbors.
Pray also for Spirit-led prayer teams to undergird these efforts with prayer.
Pray for a powerful move of the Holy Spirit among the Newar people in Bhutan that will result in many being discipled in His ways.
Scripture Prayers for the Newah in Bhutan.