Bahelia (Hindu traditions) in Bangladesh

Bahelia (Hindu traditions)
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Bahelia (Hindu traditions)
Country: Bangladesh
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 3,000
World Population: 217,000
Primary Language: Bengali
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Dalit - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

How the mighty have fallen! The Bahelia people are now Dalits, but they were once high in the Hindu caste system and part of a powerful Rajput army. After a key defeat, they had to hide in the jungles, where they survived by catching birds and animals, honey extraction, all considered inferior jobs. Most live in Uttar Pradesh, India, but a smaller number are in Bangladesh.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Taking such jobs led to them losing their favorable caste status. Usually landless, many work as day laborers, though they have a tradition of making fans with peacock feathers and selling the birds they catch.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Bahelia people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They 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 or Jews. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins. Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like 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.

What Are Their Needs?

The Bahelia people need to submit to Jesus Christ so they can experience the abundant life he offers them in John 10:10.

Prayer Points

Pray that God will send culturally-sensitive missionaries who will show them the way to the cross.

Text Source:   Joshua Project