Introduction / History
The name "Dimasa" stands for "children of the big river," referring to the Brahmaputra River. They are one of the oldest inhabitants of the northeastern part of India, and one of the many Kachari tribes. Dimasa believe that they are the children of Bangla Raja and the great divine bird Aarikhidima. Among the six ancestral gods, Sibrai is the eldest and the most important and during worship his name is to be uttered first. The traditional village headman is a Khunang, having both executive and judiciary powers. He is assisted by another official called the Dillik, and a third man, the Daulathu. The Dimasa Kachari lives in Bihar and West Bengal, India. A smaller number are further east in Bangladesh.
What Are Their Lives Like?
They are farmers who grow many kinds of crops including grains.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Dimasa Kachari 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 or Jews. 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?
Lack of sustained, focused prayer inhibits the advance of the Lord's kingdom throughout South Asia. There are powerful spiritual forces that resist the gospel, and these are overcome by prayer. The New Testament is available in the Dimasa language, as well as resources such as recordings and films. Please pray for workers to carry these resources to the people who can help them understand the gospel.
There are no reported Christians among the Dimasa of Bangladesh, but there are reported Christians within this people group in India. Pray for spiritual maturity for these Christians, and for them to become Christ bearers to the lost in Bangladesh. Please pray the Lord will grant spiritual understanding to all the people groups of Bangladesh. Pray he will reveal Jesus in powerful and convincing ways and will grant people faith to believe.
Scripture Prayers for the Kachari Dimasa in Bangladesh.