Kanchan (Muslim traditions) in Pakistan

Kanchan (Muslim traditions)
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Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Kanchan (Muslim traditions)
Country: Pakistan
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 12,000
World Population: 12,000
Primary Language: Saraiki
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
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 Muslim Kanchan are a people who live in Pakistan's Punjab Province. They were labeled as a criminal caste during the time of the British colonialism. Even today they are looked down among other Muslim groups in Pakistan. Traditionally, the Kanchan had a lifestyle similar to the Roma Gypsies. They would make their living through both legal and illegal activities. Their women would tell fortunes. The men would practice magic by casting out and appeasing evil spirits. Some Kanchan would obtain money by begging.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Pakistani government has encouraged the Kanchan to live in one place and earn their living through honest means such as farm work and taking care of animals.
Most Kanchan are unable to read and write. Their main language is Western Punjabi.
Many Pakistani believers may not want to associate or make friends with the Kanchan. New Kanchan believers may not be able to attend Pakistani churches due to their bad reputation. The gospel will have to be presented to the Kanchan in oral and visual forms.
Workers can teach the Kanchan useful job skills and help their children to learn how to read and write.

What Are Their Beliefs?

They are Sunni Muslims who 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 Kanchan people need the opportunity to experience the abundant blessings of Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

Pray that soon many Kanchan will come to the knowledge of the truth and be established in the faith.
Pray that Pakistani churches will reach out and accept new Kanchan believers.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to work powerfully through those ministering to the Kanchan people.
Pray for movements to Jesus to sweep through Kanchan families, permeating the group from within.
Ask the Lord to raise up and send out a new generation of fruitful, multiplying witnesses from among the Kanchan people.

Text Source:   Joshua Project