Introduction / History
The Sunri are a people who live in India and Bangladesh. The traditional occupation of the Sunri is that of distilling and selling alcohol. During the British colonial period the Sunri would buy licenses from the government to make and sell alcohol in a particular district. In Bangladesh where Muslims make up the majority of the population, the selling and consumption of alcohol is discouraged. Many of the Sunri have become merchants, traders and government workers.
Where Are they Located?
The primary language of the Sunri is Bengali.
This community lives in both India and Bangladesh, with approximately equal populations in each country.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Sunri marry within their caste although not in their clan. Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. The newly married couple live near or with the groom's family. Monogamy, marriage to one spouse, is their general practice. Sons inherit the property of their father with the eldest son gaining the family home and the responsibility of caring for his younger siblings and mother. The Sunri encourage their children to pursue higher education. Caste councils settle legal disputes and promote their interests.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The main foods of the Sunri are rice, vegetables, fruit, grains, and dairy products. They do not eat beef or pork but will consume fish, mutton and fowl.
The Sunri practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of the Indian subcontinent. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Shiva, the destroyer god and Vishnu's wife Lakshmi are given special reverence by the Sunri people. 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 Sunri visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs.
What Are Their Needs?
The main yearly holidays of Hindu peoples like the Sunri include Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.
The Sunri need to hear the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. They need help learning new job skills. The Sunri need to see the love and mercy of Christ lived out before them in practical ways.
Pray for a movement of Sunri households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
Pray for the Sunri people to understand and embrace that Jesus wants to bless their families and neighborhoods.
Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Sunri family leaders to experience God's blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.
Pray for a movement of Jesus to heal and strengthen Sunri communities.
Scripture Prayers for the Sunri Sadhubanik in Bangladesh.