Introduction / History
The 7,500 Dangashia people were given a bum rap centuries ago. According to their legends, one of their community members was forced to move an animal carcass. Though he did not touch it, his descendants were treated as untouchables, because such work is for the low status untouchables.
They are actually a weaving community that produces wool products. Most of them live in rural communities, but they are landless. The Dangashias live in Gujarat, a state in western India, and they speak the Gujarati language.
Traditionally the Dangashias had arranged marriages, but most of them marry for love in today’s world. They still maintain many traditions that are associated with marriage. For example, they participate in an engagement ceremony two or three years before the marriage. After the wedding, the bride and groom worship their clan deity. And like many other Hindu groups there is a bride price that is paid by the bride’s father before the wedding.
In each Dangashia village, elderly people look after community welfare and social control. Everyone in the community must obey them in matters related to the distribution of property, remarriage, divorce, and education. For this reason, their elders hold much power.
What are Their Beliefs?
The Dangashias are entirely Hindu, and they worship Krishna, Ram, and other Hindu gods. Since they speak Gujarati, there are all kinds of evangelistic materials available in their tongue. However, evangelism and church planting is very difficult in this state that is favorable to militant Hinduism.
* Pray for the gospel to break through among the Dangashia people.
* Pray that many of them will seek out Christ for themselves, and be led to those who can explain the way of the Savior.
* Pray that the JESUS Film, gospel recordings, and radio broadcasts will find their way into Dangashia villages.
|Profile Source: Global Prayer Digest / Keith Carey|