Photo Source: Anonymous
Map Source: Bethany World Prayer Center
|Christian Adherents:||2.00 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|People Cluster:||South Asia Hindu - other|
|Affinity Bloc:||South Asian Peoples|
The Indian state of Gujarat has long been an important center for trade, and their merchants have been sent all over the world. Because their commercial skills have been combined with their natural dedication, the Gujarati have become successful in business ventures internationally. They have literally spread over the entire world to 28 countries. Large populations now live in the UK and East Africa. Thousands also live in the nation of Australia. Gujarat is one of the most industrialized states in India. The Gujaratis are known as being resourceful businessmen. This has helped them to successfully emigrate and thrive around the world. The Gujaratis who have emigrated to Australia are usually from the higher, wealthier castes and have maintained many aspects of their own culture. Many resources are available in the Gujarati language including a complete Bible and JESUS Film.
Most marriages in Gujarati societies are arranged. This practice is changing as more Australian Gujarati adopt western ways. Marriage is considered to be an alliance between two families, not just two individuals, so it is difficult for parents to accept their children marrying outside their social group. For the Hindu Gujaratis, caste and social rank are very important considerations. The folklore of the Hindu Gujarati reflects the mythology surrounding the Hindu deity, Krishna. Dances in honor of Krishna have survived in the form of the popular folk dance known as garaba. Most Australian Gujaratis live in cities and speak Gujarati among themselves and English with others. The Australian Gujaratis want to maintain their culture and at the same time live peaceably with their fellow Australian citizens.
The large majority of the Australian Gujarati claim to be Hindus, the ancient religion of India. 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 Gujaratis 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. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. The main yearly holidays of the Hindu Gujarati 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. A sizable population of the Gujarati are Muslims. Only a tiny fraction claim to be followers of Jesus Christ.
Australian Gujaratis need to hear the gospel of Christ presented to them in a way they can understand. They need to see the love of Jesus demonstrated to them in practical ways and that following Christ will not make them less of a Gujarati.
Pray that Australian believers would reach out and share the love of Christ with the Gujaratis among them. Ask God to strengthen, encourage and protect the small number of believers living among them. Pray that Gujarati Christians will be bold in their witness for Christ. Pray that Gujarati businessmen will be evangelized and take the gospel to other Gujaratis around the world. Pray the Lord raises a Disciple Making Movement among the Australian Gujaratis in this decade.