Devadasi in India

Joshua Project has identified the Devadasi only in India






Largest Religion

Main Language



Each year, girls as young as 10 from the Devadasi caste are dedicated to a temple goddess, Uligamma, in a wedding ceremony that begins a lifetime of prostitution. Devadasis believe that when the girl is wed in the temple, the spirit of Uligamma inhabits her for a lifetime. Actual possessions have been reported, but girls have been known to be set free by Jesus. When Hindu priests and other men sleep with these girls, they believe they are actually sleeping with the goddess herself. The girls are used until they are too sick or too old to be desirable. Then they are expected to fend for themselves as best they can through menial labor or begging on the streets. There are official laws against child prostitution, but traditions die hard, and girls in remote villages don't even know about laws enacted hundreds of miles away.

Ministry Obstacles

There are people who greatly profit by this practice that ruins many lives, and they will do whatever they can to keep this lucrative trade in place. It is highly secretive, since most people in India, including most Hindus, disapprove of temple prostitution.

Outreach Ideas

There are ministries that help women from the Devadasi caste learn new trades while teaching them the ways of Christ. In some cases it might be necessary for women to do what 19th century missionary Amy Carmichael did and use clever means to rescue Devadasis from the temples.

Pray for the Followers of Christ

Pray that these women will be able to overcome the trauma, bitterness, hatred, and fear that they have had to deal with in their past life. Pray that many will live victorious lives in Christ that will draw others to Him.

Pray for the Entire People Group

* Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower and embolden Mission to India and other outreaches to the Devadasis.
* Pray that more and more Devadasi women will hear the good news of Jesus and be free and healed to serve Him.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-09-11
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-09-04
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-09-05
People Name General Devadasi
People Name in Country Devadasi
Population in India 20,000
World Population 20,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Atumpatram, Bogam, Guni, Kalavanthu, Kalavathu Devadasi, Kurmapu, Sani
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Kannada
People Name General Devadasi
Ethnic Code CNN23a
People ID 16683
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:  5  (up to 20 largest shown)
Andhra Pradesh (8,000) Karnataka (6,900) Tamil Nadu (3,400) Kerala (1,500)
Odisha (600)
Total States on file:  5  (up to 20 largest shown)
Andhra Pradesh (8,000) Karnataka (6,900)
Tamil Nadu (3,400) Kerala (1,500)
Odisha (600)

No people group map currently available. Use the above button to submit a map.

Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  5  (up to 20 largest shown)
Kannada (8,000) Telugu (7,700) Tamil (2,300) Malayalam (1,400)
Oriya (500)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Kannada 8,000 Telugu 7,700
Tamil 2,300 Malayalam 1,400
Oriya 500
For Primary Language: Kannada

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1812-1988)
New Testament Yes   (1823-1995)
Complete Bible Yes   (1831-2000)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Audio Recordings
Following Jesus (India, JF Project) Film / Video
Four Spiritual Laws General
God's Story Video Film / Video
Got Questions Ministry General
International Bible Society Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Kannada Film / Video
Kannada Bible stories Audio Recordings
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Online Scripture / Bible Audio Recordings
Oral Bible stories in Kannada Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project) Film / Video
World Missionary Press Booklets Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Hinduism

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Profile Source: Joshua Project  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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