Kinnara in Sri Lanka

The Kinnara have only been reported in Sri Lanka
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

Caste is something that we normally expect from the Hindu peoples like the Tamils. For Hindu communities, caste has its roots in ancient religious beliefs. For Buddhist peoples, there is a more subtle caste system that originated with the ruling elite. It was a way for them to protect their status, much like the guardians of the Europe's feudal system.

One of the communities that is on the lower end of the Buddhist caste system is the Kunnara people. These people were traditionally mat weavers. They migrated from Sri Lanka from southern India, probably hundreds of years ago.

Where Are they Located?

All of the Kinnara people now live in Sri Lanka where they have a small population.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Though many of the Kinnara people still weave mats, there are many who are agricultural workers.

As Buddhists, the Kinnara believe that spiritual forces determine the events in their lives. They believe suffering is necessary as they seek to work their way to nirvana. Their worldview does not have a place for a loving personal God.
What Are Their Beliefs?

The Kinnara people are Buddhists. Buddhists do not have a personal, living god they worship, but they believe in spiritual forces which determine what happens to us in this life and the life to come. They believe that life is subject to suffering and uncertainty. Our existence is eternal, because we are reincarnated into another living being after death. We can eventually reach nirvana, a perfect state of bliss through meditation, wisdom and high morality.

What Are Their Needs?

The Kinnara people need the chance to put their identity in Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

Pray for workers to go to the Kinnara people of Sri Lanka, and for their hearts to be ready to receive their Savior.
Pray for networks of believing families and fellowships that will throw the doors open for others to follow Jesus.
Pray for the Lord to bless the families among the Kinnara people with his presence and mercy.
Pray for believers among this people group to disciple others who will disciple still others.
Pray for Bible believing fellowships and churches among the Kinnara people.

Scripture Prayers for the Kinnara in Sri Lanka.


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Kinnara
People Name in Country Kinnara
Pronunciation KEE-nah-rah
Alternate Names Kannaur; किन्नरा
Population this Country 29,000
Population all Countries 29,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 21413
ROP3 Code 118219
ROP25 Code 304035
ROP25 Name Kinnara
Country Sri Lanka
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Total States on file 5
Largest States
North Western
North Central
Country Sri Lanka
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Total States 5
  Central 7,300
  Sabaragamuwa 6,900
  North Western 6,200
  North Central 4,700
  Uva 4,300
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent *
99.54 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.46 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
* From latest Sri Lanka census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Sinhala (29,000 speakers)
Language Code sin   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Sinhala (29,000 speakers)
Language Code sin   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Sinhala

Primary Language:  Sinhala

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1739-1966)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1776-1991)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1823-2009)
FCBH NT ( Online
YouVersion NT ( 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 Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Sinhala Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
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 Four Spiritual Laws Campus Crusade for Christ
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app: Sinhala YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Sinhala YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Literacy primer for Sinhala Literacy & Evangelism International
Text / Printed Matter Tools for faith conversations Campus Crusade for Christ
Text / Printed Matter Topical Scripture booklets and Bible studies World Missionary Press
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  Daniel J. Rao - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Keith Carey 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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