Chudigar in India

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Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Chudigar
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 1,300
World Population: 1,300
Primary Language: Marwari
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Muslim - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Mewari is the common term used to refer to different caste groups and includes some tribes. The Mewar region consists of the four southern districts of Rajasthan and the people are known for their bravery and valor. When other parts of India bowed down to the British during their invasion, the Mewari did not. They would rather die than bow before the enemy.
One of the Mewar people are known as the Chudigar.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Chudigar women with brightly colored, beautifully patterned saris covering their heads and men with their bright, colorful turbans – the Chudigar people can be easily identified by the way they dress.
An extremely dry climate is typical of the Mewar region. The scorching heat of the summer and the freezing cold of the winter have toughened the people. Lack of water is a major challenge for agriculture, with droughts generally seen every three or four years, yet sometimes heavy rains cause floods and destruction.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Unlike most peoples of Rajasthan, the Chudigars are Sunni Muslim. Sunni Muslims believe that the supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship.
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.
Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe that Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will.
In most of the Muslim world, people depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.

What Are Their Needs?

The Chudigar are very proud of their religion, culture, traditions etc. and as a result have not responded to the gospel easily. The few churches established about a century ago are now closed and several worshipping groups have vanished. These churches could not sustain their growth without feeding from God's word in their mother tongue, but God's word in Mewari will have the power to transform their future thinking, and way of life.

Prayer Points

Pray for a spiritual hunger among the Chudigar people that will lead them to the cross.
Pray for God to raise up workers from among the Chudigar who will better present the gospel in a culturally appropriate manner.
Pray for a mother tongue translation team to be initiated, trained and equipped to translate the Scriptures accurately.

Text Source:   Joshua Project