Chero in India






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Chero live in Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. They are primarily concentrated in Palamau, Shahabad, Champaran, and other surrounding districts. The Chero speak a language that is also called Chero. Those in Bihar are bilingual, speaking both Chero and Bihari.

The Chero claim to be the descendants of the Rajput, who were a powerful race of Indian warriors whose kingdom existed between the eighth and thirteenth centuries. The Chero were once the lords of all the provinces surrounding the sacred Ganges River. Now, however, they hold meager jobs in the cities or live in the woods skirting the hills.

Like many people in India, the Chero belong to a particular social class, or caste. They are officially classified as land-owners and farmers. In general, they are a proud race and have never forgotten that their bloodline is one of royalty.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most of the Chero live in villages situated near streams to ensure the people of a fresh water supply. The villagers get timber from the forests to build their homes and to use as fuel. Their settlements are clusters of homes seemingly huddled together without rhyme or reason. The poorest Chero live in homes made of mud. These families share their homes with the cattle, farm tools, and grain.

Today, agriculture is vital to the Chero economy, and the villagers usually grow exactly what they need for survival. Men and women work together to produce the harvest, and the women especially love to sing as they work. Some of the Chero have moved over to shop-keeping and petty trade in towns and cities. Others earn wages by working on roads or in coal mines.

For the Chero living on the plains, their livestock is crucial for their livelihood. Oxen, buffaloes, and cows are yoked to plows and carts to help them work the fields. Goats, fish, and fowl are important components of their diet and are also used as sacrifices in religious ceremonies.

The nuclear family, which consists of parents and unmarried children, is the basic building block of Chero society. While they hold their elders in high regard, old age itself is viewed as an ailment. The tribe is governed by councils called panchayats, which are made up of the village elders, the headman, and the high priest.

The land-holding Chero in the Palamau region have borrowed the gotras social structure, which means that they do not associate with those of lower castes. They are divided into two sub-castes, and marriage outside of their own group is strictly forbidden.

Over the years, the distinctive physical traits of the Chero have been softened by intermarriage with pure Hindu families. Because they are of Rajput descent, the Chero obtained military land grants, which they hold to this day.

The higher caste Chero are almost equal to any other high caste group of Hindus. Brahmins (the highest Hindu caste, made up of priests and scholars) will actually take water from the Chero's hands. This is considered a privilege in their society. They now live strictly as Rajputs and wear their caste symbols. However, they still do not intermarry with pure Rajput families.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of Chero are Hindu, and Brahmin priests serve at all their weddings. About one-fifth the Chero are Muslims, who were converted during Muslim invasions of the nineteenth century.

What Are Their Needs?

At the present time, there are only a few known Chero Christians. Missionaries are needed to disciple these young believers. Christian resources are desperately needed. Prayer is the key to seeing the Chero reached with the Gospel.

Prayer Points

* Ask the Holy Spirit to complete the work begun in the hearts of the few Chero believers through adequate discipleship.
* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers to work among the Chero.
* Pray that God will raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Chero church for the glory of His name!

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

Video Links:
A Pilgrimage
People Name General Chero
People Name in Country Chero
Population in India 188,000
World Population 193,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Chere, Choro
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Hindi
People Name General Chero
Ethnic Code CNN25g
People ID 16583
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file:  7  (up to 20 largest shown)
Jharkhand (100,000) Uttar Pradesh (71,000) Bihar (11,000) West Bengal (3,500)
Uttarakhand (1,400) Assam (700) Odisha (50)
Total States on file:  7  (up to 20 largest shown)
Jharkhand (100,000) Uttar Pradesh (71,000)
Bihar (11,000) West Bengal (3,500)
Uttarakhand (1,400) Assam (700)
Odisha (50)
Languages & Dialects on file:  28  (up to 20 largest shown)
Hindi (168,000) Bhojpuri (7,600) Kanauji (2,600) Bengali (2,500)
Awadhi (900) Ho (700) Garhwali (600) Kumaoni (400)
Bagheli (400) Assamese (300) Santhali (200) Panjabi, Eastern (200)
Oriya (80) Mundari (60) Sadri (60) Kurux (50)
Marathi (30) Nepali (20) Kharia (20) Urdu (20)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Hindi 168,000 Bhojpuri 7,600
Kanauji 2,600 Bengali 2,500
Awadhi 900 Ho 700
Garhwali 600 Kumaoni 400
Bagheli 400 Assamese 300
Santhali 200 Panjabi, Eastern 200
Oriya 80 Mundari 60
Sadri 60 Kurux 50
Marathi 30 Nepali 20
Kharia 20 Urdu 20
For Primary Language: Hindi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1806-1962)
New Testament Yes   (1811-1998)
Complete Bible Yes   (1818-2000)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Visuals General
Bible: Hindi Holy Bible Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Hindi Holy Bible Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
Christ for the Nations Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Film / Video
Following Jesus (India, JF Project) Film / Video
God's Story Video Film / Video
Gods Simple Plan General
Got Questions Ministry General
Hindi Bible Text / Printed Matter
Hindi Bible stories Audio Recordings
International Bible Society Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Hindi Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Online Bible (Bibles India) Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Hinduism

Major Religion Percent
0.02 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.13 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
99.40 %
0.02 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.42 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Map Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Video Source: Create International
Profile Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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