Bania (Muslim traditions) in Afghanistan

Bania (Muslim traditions)
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People Name: Bania (Muslim traditions)
Country: Afghanistan
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 7,000
World Population: 7,000
Primary Language: Urdu
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.23 %
Evangelicals: 0.20 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Muslim - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Vania people are also called Bania or Mahajan. The word Vania is derived from Vaniji, which means "trader" in Sanskrit. The Bania community has gotras or clans. Many of their clan names are based on the names of the place they are from. Though most Banias are in India, there are a fair number of them in other nearby countries including Afghanistan. Those in Afghanistan are Muslim, which is unusual for this people group with Hindu roots.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Money lending, business, trade, jewelry-making and agriculture are the traditional occupations of the Bania. Floor painting and folk songs represent the Vania's art and culture. Social interactions and personal relationships among the Banias revolve around extended families and caste connections. This is complicated by the fact the Banias in Afghanistan are Muslim, which separates them from the Hindu Banias.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Banias are Hindu by religion, but those in Afghanistan are Sunni Muslims. At one time in their history, they were converted to Islam by Muslim saints.

What Are Their Needs?

The Banias in Afghanistan need a gospel witness. This might have to come from God himself through dreams and visions. Some can access gospel materials on their cell phones.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to pave the way for the gospel to move among the Banias in Afghanistan.
Pray for Bania community leaders to open the door to allowing Jesus Christ to bless their families.
Pray for a Disciple Making Movement among the Banias in Afghanistan.
Pray for them to have hearts that long for true spiritual nourishment that can only come from Jesus Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project