Balija (Hindu traditions) in India

The Balija (Hindu traditions) have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

Most Balija are viewed as sudra, the fourth laboring class of the Hindu caste system. Some are also seen as Dalits, outside the system.

The two main languages of the Balija are Kannada and Telugu. Many also speak Tamil. The Hindu Balija people reside in South India mostly in the states of Karnataka, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu.


What Are Their Lives Like?

They are an ethnic minority with only a small political voice in domestic and governmental affairs. They derive their income from a variety of sources. Some trade in bangles, pearls, and salt, while others have turned to farming and land ownership. A few have jobs in government and medical services.

The social life of the Balija follows along lines of the caste system. They marry outside the clan, but only within their people group. Families arrange marriages. Sons inherit their father's property. Widows are not allowed to remarry. Sons have the responsibility of taking care of elderly parents. They are not vegetarians but as Hindus do not eat beef. They are allowed to drink alcohol, a factor that indicates a low caste status. Alcoholism is a problem among these people.

The Balija tend to have large families. Their rural villages often lack access to modern medicine and clean water. These factors result in high child mortality. Children often quit school after a few years to help support their families. Illiteracy is a major issue for Balija women and girls. Many young people are leaving the villages and moving to Indian cities in hope of a better life.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Balija 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 like Christians. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.

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.


What Are Their Needs?

Rural Balija need good schools for their children. They need new job skills if they are to make progress in Indian society. These people need to realize that they cannot please God without being empowered by the Holy Spirit. They cannot have the Holy Spirit without having Jesus Christ.


Prayer Points

Pray that the Balija would experience true spiritual freedom in Christ this decade.

Pray that neighboring Indian believers would take the gospel to Balija communities.

Pray for Balija followers of Christ to find fellowship and disciple others who in turn will disciple others.

Ask the Lord to send Holy Spirit anointed workers to the Balija.

Pray that Balija parents would be able to provide for their children with better schools.

Ask the Lord to raise up a disciple making movement among the Balija in this decade.


Scripture Prayers for the Balija (Hindu traditions) in India.


References

https://www.cs.odu.edu/~salam/wsdl/inforet/wikihtml/Balija.html

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Castes_and_Tribes_of_Southern_India/Balija

https://www.indianetzone.com/50/balija_caste.htm


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-08-06
Global Prayer Digest: 2020-01-19
People Name General Balija (Hindu traditions)
People Name in Country Balija (Hindu traditions)
Pronunciation BAH-lee-jah
Population this Country 1,788,000
Population all Countries 1,788,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 36
Alternate Names Ambiga; Balegara; Baliga; Balija Naidu; Besta; Bestala; Bestar; Bholla; Bogam; Boya Bestha; Chetti Balija; Deogarhiya Gond; Gajula; Gangemakkalu; Gavara; Gazula; Gazula Balija; Gazut Balija; Gudem Dasari; Kabbera; Kasba; Kasban; Kasbi; Kasbi Khelna; Kasbin; Khelda; Khelta; Kisbe; Mannur; Munnur; Mutrasi; Naidu; Parivara; Parivarattar; Rajamandir; Siviar; Siviyar; Thogra; Thota Balija; Toreyar; Vaduga; Vaidu; Valia; Varala; Veerasaiva Lingayat; बलिजा (हिंदू ट्रेडिशन्स)
People ID 16312
ROP3 Code 111442
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 20
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Karnataka
1,028,000
Telangana
315,000
Tamil Nadu
239,000
Odisha
82,000
Maharashtra
51,000
Chhattisgarh
24,000
Andhra Pradesh
15,000
Madhya Pradesh
5,700
Kerala
1,700
Jharkhand
800
Delhi
500
Bihar
400
Gujarat
300
Goa
300
Chandigarh
70
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 20
  Karnataka 1,028,000
  Telangana 315,000
  Tamil Nadu 239,000
  Odisha 82,000
  Maharashtra 51,000
  Chhattisgarh 24,000
  Andhra Pradesh 15,000
  Madhya Pradesh 5,700
  Kerala 1,700
  Jharkhand 800
  Delhi 500
  Bihar 400
  Gujarat 300
  Goa 300
  Chandigarh 70
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.01 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
99.31 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.68 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Kannada (838,000 speakers)
Language Code kan   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 13
Secondary Languages
Telugu
819,000
Tamil
82,000
Odia
21,000
Tulu
4,700
Chhattisgarhi
4,600
Konkani
2,400
Marathi
2,100
Konkani, Goan
1,500
Gondi, Northern
1,400
Hindi
700
Kurux
200
Kui
200
Primary Language Kannada (838,000 speakers)
Language Code kan   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 13
Secondary Languages
  Telugu 819,000
  Tamil 82,000
  Odia 21,000
  Tulu 4,700
  Chhattisgarhi 4,600
  Konkani 2,400
  Marathi 2,100
  Konkani, Goan 1,500
  Gondi, Northern 1,400
  Hindi 700
  Kurux 200
  Kui 200
People Groups Speaking Kannada

Primary Language:  Kannada

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1812-1988)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1823-2023)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1827-2022)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
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 Love letter to you from scripture Father's Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online Scripture / Bible General / Other
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories One Story
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 Jesus Film: view in Kannada Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime 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 Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2023  India Missions Association  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more