Yerava in India

The Yerava 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

The Yerva or Ravula people were a thriving, agriculture and forest-based tribe, in the southern Indian states of Kerala and Karnataka. Over a period of time, a feudal system came into place, which resulted in the Ravula literally becoming slaves of high caste Hindu families. With the development of coffee and tea plantations in the area, forest lands were cut down and plantations established. These plantations required cheap labor. The Yerava and other peoples were recruited to serve as cheap daily-wage laborers.

Having no land of their own, the Yerava ended up as landless workers for the plantation owners. Soon the Yerava were being referred to as “Adiyan,” meaning slaves. Even the government list of scheduled tribes lists them as “Adiya.”

The Yerava people speak their own language of Ravula. The New Testament and the JESUS Film are available in Ravula. A tiny fraction of Ravula claims to be followers of Jesus Christ.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Though their living conditions have now improved slightly, most Yerava live in poverty. As a result, most of them also end up working as low paid, unskilled laborers. Many have alcohol problems or spend their money and day chewing betel nut. Both these activities waste money that could be used to help their families.

The Yerava marry within their community. Marriage to one spouse is the norm. Yerava children often quit school after a few years in order to help their families make a living. Illiteracy is a problem especially among the Yerava women and girls. Rural Yerava young people are moving to Indian cities but have trouble finding employment due to their lack of education and job skills.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Yerava 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 do. 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?

When the language researchers visited the Yerava and inquired about their language they said, "You are the first person to ask us about our language!" "When will you come back?" others asked. This research was seen by them to be of great value, and they were excited about someone being interesting in their language. The researchers concluded that using Malayalam or Kannada – the state languages - would not provide sufficient understanding of the deeper truths of Scripture. A Ravula New Testament became available in 2018 and translators are working on the Old Testament.

The Yerava would benefit by learning new jobs skills. Most of all they need to hear and accept the good news of Jesus Christ.


Prayer Points

Ask God to bring about a spiritual and social transformation among the Yerava.

Pray that Yerava children would take advantage of higher education opportunities.

Ask the Lord to open doors for communicating the gospel to the Yerava.

Pray that the Lord moves the Yerava to read the New Testament.

Ask the Lord to raise up a disciple making movement among the Yerava of India in this decade.


Scripture Prayers for the Yerava in India.


References

Singh, K. S., ed. "India's Communities A-Z", Oxford University Press, USA 1999

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yadav

https://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0B10BMNU


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Yerava
People Name in Country Yerava
Population this Country 37,000
Population all Countries 37,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names एरव
People ID 18343
ROP3 Code 113895
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 4
Largest States
Karnataka
36,000
Maharashtra
600
Kerala
400
Tamil Nadu
10
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 4
  Karnataka 36,000
  Maharashtra 600
  Kerala 400
  Tamil Nadu 10
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Ravula (27,000 speakers)
Language Code yea   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 11
Secondary Languages
Kannada
3,600
Telugu
800
Kodava
500
Malayalam
400
Tulu
80
Tamil
60
English Marathi Punjabi, Eastern
Hindi
Primary Language Ravula (27,000 speakers)
Language Code yea   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 11
Secondary Languages
  Kannada 3,600
  Telugu 800
  Kodava 500
  Malayalam 400
  Tulu 80
  Tamil 60
  English 10
  Marathi 10
  Punjabi, Eastern 0
  Hindi 0
People Groups Speaking Ravula

Primary Language:  Ravula

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2011–2014)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2018)
Bible-Complete Yes  (2018)
Bible-NT Audio 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 Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Ravula Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App Download audio Bible app from Google Play Store Faith Comes by Hearing
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Ravula YouVersion Bibles
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.21 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
97.20 %
Islam
2.54 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.03 %
Unknown
0.02 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more