|Hindko||Homeland: Pakistan, India|
Only a few of the roughly five million people who speak the Hindko language are well educated. The majority are illiterate. Most Hindko-speaking people live north of Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, but due to economic difficulties there, many of the men seek employment 900 miles away in the port city of Karachi. Most Hindko-speakers are Sunni Muslims. Nevertheless, many still seek practical results from variations of folk Islam. They revere holy men and their graves, hoping for answered prayers.
A former nurse at Bach Christian Hospital became intrigued with the local language. She found a woman who could help her learn Hindko who had become a follower of Jesus some years before. This woman, along with several others, helped the nurse put the New Testament into Hindko. Gospel Recordings staff made several trips to the area and Hindko speakers sat many hours in make-shift studios to put the Hindko New Testament on cassettes.
Lord of the Harvest, anoint the Hindko New Testament and use it mightily. Protect the Pakistan Bible Society as they print and distribute it.
|Jats||Homeland: India, Pakistan|
|Religion: Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism|
The Jats take their name from a Hindu caste of farmers. Although they share common origins and culture, the millions of Jat peoples living in south Asia are today separated by religious differences. Muslim Jat, who live primarily in Pakistan, follow the scriptures of the Koran, which they believe were revealed by Allah to the prophet Muhammad. In the Punjab area of India live Jats who follow Sikhism, a religion which draws on beliefs from both Islam and Hinduism. They practice tolerance of others, which can be seen at their places of worship where they offer free food and shelter. Those Jats who remain Hindu have a polytheistic, ceremonial religion. They believe that individuals cannot leave this earth for a better place without working their way up to the highest caste through reincarnation. In spite of the Jats' diversity of religious belief, only a small percent of the population is Christian.
Spirit of conviction, set a fire in the Jat people of India and Pakistan. Show them that their hope lies in Jesus Christ alone.
|Maithil||Homeland: India, Nepal|
|Religion: Hinduism, Islam|
More than 20 million people speak the Maithili language. Primarily Hindu, these Maithili-speakers are among India's most devout Hindus and live rural, conservative lives. The landscape of northern Bihar, where 15 million Maithil live, is dotted by date and mango trees watered by Himalayan rivers. Many of its people are farmers, happy to share hospitality and the fruit of their land with visitors. Christian workers in northern Bihar have been preaching the gospel in the Hindi language for more than 80 years. However, only the educated Maithil can understand Hindi; poor, lower-caste Maithils have yet to hear the gospel in their own language. There are very few Maithil Christians.
Lord of the harvest, plant the seed of your gospel in the hearts of both low-caste and high-caste Maithil.
|Tharu||Homeland: Nepal, India|
|Religion: Hinduism, Animism|
Nearly three million Tharu people live on the edge of north west India's forests and Nepal's southern plains. Tharus' lives are shaped by their connection to the environment. They farm the plains, trap animals in the forest, collect roots and herbs, and fish in small rivers and streams. Married women have elaborate tattoos on their bodies. The majority of Tharus follow a mixture of Hinduism and Animism and focus on serving household gods and forest spirits, to whom they make offerings. There are many clans of Tharu. Such diversity makes evangelization difficult.
Lord, we know the Tharu clans are not beyond the reach of your love and power. Redeem each of them for your glory!
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