Introduction / History
The Hindu Baiti people live in India and Bangladesh. They are part of the Sudra caste, or fourth level of Hinduism's caste system. The Sudras are the working or laboring Hindu caste.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Though the majority of Baiti live in the western Indian state of Maharashtra and speak Marathi, a sizable population resides in West Bengal and speak Bengali. Many resources exist in both Marathi and Bengali including complete Bibles, the JESUS Film and radio programs. There are few if any known believers among the Baiti.
In former times, Baiti worked rolling cigarettes and weaving baskets and mats. With the introduction of modern factories, they have had to find other employment.
Most Baiti now work in agriculture, construction and business. Lack of literacy and job skills have hampered Baiti from getting better paying jobs.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Monogamy or marriage to one spouse is the norm. Families and young people arrange marriages. Baiti tend to have large families. In rural villages life expectancy is low and child mortality is high. Young Baiti people are moving from the villages to Indian cities in hope of a better life. Sons inherit their father's property. Sons have the responsibility of taking care of elderly relatives. In rural areas, the Baiti often lack access to modern medicine and clean water.
Parents encourage their sons to get a secondary education. Girls frequently quit school after a few years to help their family make a living.
The Baiti people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods as Christians do. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
What Are Their Needs?
Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like 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.
The Baiti need good schools to educate their children. If they are to better their place in Indian society, they need to learn new job skills. Most of all, the Baiti must understand that Jesus Christ is not just another guru or Hindu god. He is their Savior and the only one who can forgive their sins.
Pray for a movement to Jesus to heal and strengthen Baiti communities.
Ask the Lord to send loving workers to the Baiti people.
Pray for the Baiti people to understand and embrace that Jesus wants to bless their families, villages and neighborhoods.
Pray for a movement in which the Holy Spirit leads and empowers Baiti disciples to make more disciples.
Scripture Prayers for the Baiti in India.