Karina in Venezuela

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People Name: Karina
Country: Venezuela
10/40 Window: No
Population: 31,000
World Population: 31,000
Primary Language: Carib
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 60.00 %
Evangelicals: 2.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South American Indigenous
Affinity Bloc: Latin-Caribbean Americans
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Kariña are an indigenous people group found primarily in Venezuela. Most speak both Carinan and Spanish. Like other native groups in their area, various Christian denominations attempted to reach them in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. After the attempt of Franciscan missionaries to consolidate the group into pueblos, the Kariña rebelled and destabilized missions and native populations in their region. As eastern Venezuela became more developed, the Kariña were integrated into the larger culture.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Hunting, fishing, and farming are traditional occupations the Kariña have maintained throughout history. Traditional gender roles placed the responsibility of trade, agriculture, hunting and other strenuous tasks on the men. As the steel and oil industries gained prominence in Venezuela, both men and women found employment.
The Kariña are traditionally a kin-integration culture, which places importance on local community over strictly defined organization. Additionally, a chief is annually elected for each local community by a council of elders.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Kariña have integrated Catholicism into cultural religious beliefs. Traditional spiritual beliefs taught a cosmology of four planes: heaven, mountain, water and earth. Powerful beings dominate each of these planes. Ancestral spirits can master birds, animals and shamans. Shamans have spiritual power, including the ability to heal ailments. They function as bridges between the physical and spiritual realms through various chants and rituals. Several traditions, such as burial and marriage, have adopted Christian customs.

What Are Their Needs?

While the oil industry has provided employment for the Kariña, it has also destroyed several of their villages. Pollution has become a prominent health issue in the area. Missionary efforts could support this group through medical assistance, as disease has taken a considerable toll on the population. Meeting physical needs could provide an opening for gospel conversations.

Prayer Points

Pray that physical needs of the Kariña would be met as a demonstration of Christ’s love, creating an open door for the truth of the gospel.
Pray they would be protected from false doctrine, faithfully follow Jesus, and make his teachings a priority.
Pray for active discipleship, spiritual hunger and discernment.
Ask the Holy Spirit to revive the Kariña church, transforming them by the renewal of their minds.
Pray faith would come from hearing the true Word of God, detached from cultural religions or other distractions from Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project