Madiga Penda in India

Madiga Penda
Send Joshua Project a photo
of this people group.
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Madiga Penda
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 1,500
World Population: 1,500
Primary Language: Telugu
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
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

Madiga people are a scheduled caste, which means they have very low status in India. One of their subgroups is the Penda. The Penda are a small Muslim people within a much larger Madiga Hindu majority. Illiteracy is a big problem for the Penda as most adults are unable to read and write.

The main language of the Penda is Telegu. Many Christian resources are available in Telegu including the whole Bible and the JESUS Film. The gospel will need to be presented to the Penda in oral and visual form.

Where Are they Located?

The Penda Madiga people are only found where India's southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. Most live in rural villages.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Traditional work of Madiga people is making shoes, leatherwork and tanning. Dealing with leather brings any South Asian community to the bottom status level. The women help in hide tanning, and act as midwives. Cattle are sacred animals in Hinduism and most Hindus will not work in the leather trade, which involved dead animals. The Penda also work in agriculture, though not many own their own land. In urban regions, many work in factories. They are usually less than average in height.
The main foods of the Penda are rice, lentils, vegetables, and dairy products. As Muslims they will not eat pork. They also refrain from eating beef, not wishing to offend their Hindu neighbors.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Though the large majority of Madiga peoples are Hindu, the Penda subgroup is Sunni Muslim. They believe that the One, Supreme God, Allah, spoken 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, using deceit, 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.

In most of the Muslim world, peoples like the Penda Madiga 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. The often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.

What Are Their Needs?

The Penda need help in educating their children and in learning new job skills. Some Penda rural villages do not have electricity so solar panels would greatly benefit them. The Penda need the help of modern medicine. Most of all, the Penda need to hear and understand the message of Isa or Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and make them right with the one, true God.

Prayer Points

* Pray for the Lord to raise up a strong disciple making movement to saturate the hearts and minds of the Penda Madiga people.
* Pray for God's blessing, strengthening and healing of Penda Madiga families and communities through the abundant life Jesus offers to all who call on His Name.
* Pray for God's blessing on Penda Madiga leaders, along with their families, and for their communities to welcome and enjoy God's blessings in Christ Jesus.
* Pray for the Lord to multiply the reception and influence of His Word among this people group, leading them to love Him with their whole being.

Text Source:   Keith Carey