Sauria Paharia in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

With a culture over 4,000 years old and the world's second largest population, India contains a multitude of closely related people groups. Over thousands of years, these countless groups have migrated into this subcontinent, and many have maintained distinctive cultures. Today, more than 800 languages are spoken in India, and the complex caste system has further divided the people into an endless number of social classes.

The Churahi Pahari are one of the many Hindu people groups of India. They are primarily located in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh. This is a rugged mountain region in which roads are merely mule tracks or footpaths winding around the outer slopes of the Himalayas.

The Churahi are a hardworking and often isolated people. Many of their villages are snowbound for up to four months a year, and the people must live on what they have stored away.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Most of the Churahi Pahari are meager, honest farmers. They cultivate terraces on hillsides which produce only sparse crops twice a year. Their principal crops are potatoes and rice, and a variety of other vegetables are also grown. Fertilizer is used, as well as a system of plot rotation in which the ground is allowed to lie fallow. Wet rice is grown during the monsoon season, whereas dry rice, maize, millet, and wheat are raised on the drier land during the summer and winter months. Most of the farmers raise buffalo and goats for meat and cows for milk. The villagers live on a simple diet of milk, lentils, a few vegetables, a little fruit, and occasionally meat.

The Churahi live in extended families in villages that consist of loosely grouped homes surrounded by the farm land. The villages are generally situated near rivers or springs, and the homes are connected by footpaths. Sometimes the paths meet together near a large tree that is used as a meeting place for the villagers as well as a resting place for travelers.

The houses are rectangular in shape with stone and mortar walls. The roofs are made of slate, wood, or thatch. Doors, windows, and door frames are often ornately carved and painted. The houses usually have two or more stories, with the people living on the second floor and the animals roaming freely on the ground floor.

During religious festivals or village fairs, the women like to wear brightly colored clothes, heavy silver nose rings and earrings, and colorful head scarves.

There are many rites of passage for children such as the first rice feeding and the first haircut. Also, girls go through puberty rites and boys go through initiations known as sacred thread ceremonies. When they are about eight years old, the children begin doing domestic chores. Girls care for the younger children, haul water, and carry food for the animals. Boys tend the animals, help in the fields, or carry milk to the market. Many children walk up to five or six miles a day to school.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The vast majority of the Churahi Pahari are Hindus, and nearly all of the others practice ethnic religions. Those who are Hindus are generally not as strict in their observance of religious laws as other Hindus.

It is said that the Hindus worship more than 300 million gods. Though other supernatural beings are also worshipped, the gods and goddesses are considered as the most powerful. They live in fear of these gods, and regularly try to appease them with offerings. Both village gods and household gods are worshipped. These include ancestral spirits, ghosts, demons, spirits, and fairies. The Churahi also recognize the five Pandava brothers (heroic warriors of a Hindu epic) as deities, although other Hindus do not.


Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to India and share Christ with the Churahi Pahari.
Pray for God to raise up prayer teams who will break up the soil through worship and intercession.
Ask God to give Churahi Christians boldness to share the Gospel with their own people.
Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the people toward Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
Pray that God will open the hearts of India's governmental leaders to the Gospel.


Scripture Prayers for the Sauria Paharia in India.


Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Sauria Paharia
People Name in Country Sauria Paharia
Alternate Names Male; Maler; Malto; Samaria Paharia; Samaria Pahariya; सौरिया पाहरिया
Population this Country 62,000
Population all Countries 70,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 2
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 5  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 18044
ROP3 Code 113539
ROP25 Code 307306
ROP25 Name Sauria Pahariya
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 3
Largest States
Jharkhand
55,000
West Bengal
4,200
Bihar
2,300
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 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 3
  Jharkhand 55,000
  West Bengal 4,200
  Bihar 2,300
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.50 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
47.41 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
48.89 %
Islam
0.32 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.01 %
Unknown
2.86 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Mal Paharia (45,000 speakers)
Language Code mkb   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 28
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Bengali
2,600
Sauria Paharia
600
Hindi
600
Maithili
500
Sadri
400
Santhali
400
Newar
300
Bhojpuri
300
Surjapuri
200
Nepali
200
Magahi
60
Mundari
30
Rajbanshi
20
Chhattisgarhi
20
Bhatri
10
Primary Language Mal Paharia (45,000 speakers)
Language Code mkb   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 28
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Bengali 2,600
  Sauria Paharia 600
  Hindi 600
  Maithili 500
  Sadri 400
  Santhali 400
  Newar 300
  Bhojpuri 300
  Surjapuri 200
  Nepali 200
  Magahi 60
  Mundari 30
  Rajbanshi 20
  Chhattisgarhi 20
  Bhatri 10
People Groups Speaking Mal Paharia

Primary Language:  Mal Paharia

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1994)
Bible-New Testament Yes
Bible-Complete Yes  (2018)
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
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Mal Paharia Jesus Film Project
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / 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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