Koli Patelia in Pakistan

Main Language
Largest Religion
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

The Koli Patelia are a landowning caste who live in the west Indian state of Gujarat, though a few live further west in Pakistan. During the British colonial period they often served as tax collectors and administrators. The name Patel comes from a word meaning village chief. Many Patelia also went into business and commerce during the Raj period. Some Koli Patelia claim descent from Lord Rama and Lord Krishna. Therefore, they are Kshatriya, the second highest caste in the Hindu system. Others say they are Vaishyas, the caste of merchants and traders.
The name Patel is prominent in entertainment, politics, medicine, and business in west India. Ironically the Patelia are seeking scheduled caste classification as their children are having trouble finding spots in Indian universities. The Patelia are the dominant caste in Gujarati government and industry. Outside of the state of Gujarat, some Koli groups have scheduled caste status. The primary language of the Koli Patelia is Gujarati. They also speak Hindi and English. A newly edited complete Bible became available in Gujarati in 2016. Only a tiny number of believers exists among the Koli Patelia.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Patelia still own large tracts of land but the land is often cultivated by lower castes. Most Patelia are involved in business, education, administration, and politics. Patelia parents encourage their children to obtain graduate degrees. Some are strict vegetarians while others eat meat except for beef. Families arrange adult marriages with the consent of the young people. Newly married couples generally live apart from their parents. Sons inherit property. The Patelia hire Brahmin priests to officiate at important family ceremonies such as births, weddings and funerals. They cremate their dead. There is a Patelia diaspora throughout the world. Many Patels live in the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and in South America. They are business owners, physicians and professors who maintain contact with their relatives and friends in Gujarat.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Patelia practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of South Asia. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Patelia 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 many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. The Patelia pay special homage to Rama and Krishna. The main yearly holidays of the Patelia people are 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 caste system divides Hindus into four main categories. The Patelia are considered Kshatriyas which means they have good status in Hindu society.

What Are Their Needs?

The Patelia are proud of their strong Hindu tradition. Pride, status and wealth can keep people from seeing themselves as sinners in need of a savior. The Patelia must hear and understand the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life.

Prayer Points

Pray for a disciple making movement to flourish in Koli Patelia communities.
Pray that Gujarati Bibles and resources would fall into the right Patelia hands.
Pray that a strong movement to Jesus will bring whole Patelia families and communities into a rich experience of God's blessings.
Pray for Patelia families and communities to discover and embrace the free gift of life found by trusting Christ and His finished work.

Scripture Prayers for the Koli Patelia in Pakistan.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Koli Patelia
People Name in Country Koli Patelia
Alternate Names Patel; कोली पतेलियाऑफ गुजरात
Population this Country 8,200
Population all Countries 564,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 21159
ROP3 Code 117982
ROP25 Code 304135
ROP25 Name Koli (ST)
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 7  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Pakistan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 7  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 1
  Sindh 8,000
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
* From latest Pakistan census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Sindhi (5,500 speakers)
Language Code snd   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
Primary Language Sindhi (5,500 speakers)
Language Code snd   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
  Dhatki 2,200
  Kacchi 400
People Groups Speaking Sindhi

Primary Language:  Sindhi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1825-1981)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1890-1992)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1954)
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
Possible Print Bibles
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 Recorded oral Bible Oral Bibles
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Sindhi Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Hope Video Mars Hill Media
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Gospel website in this language General / Other
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app: Sindhi YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Sindhi YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Literacy primer for Sindhi Literacy & Evangelism International
Text / Printed Matter Topical Scripture booklets and Bible studies World Missionary Press
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. Learn more.

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