Profile Source: Global Prayer Digest / Keith Carey
Introduction / History
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Gagra people were nomadic people who hunted for a living. Some have merged with other hunting peoples, so their numbers are declining. Living in a densely populated part of the world like northern India, they eventually had to become more like the people around them. Most have taken low-paying and low social status jobs. They once used to catch and apply leeches to remove impure blood as a service. Those that live in cities are likely to be rickshaw pullers or sweepers, both low-status jobs.
What are Their Lives Like?
They have many "gotras" or clan-based communities based on lineage. When looking for a mate, the Gagra people avoid members of their own gotra, but also the gotra of their mother’s brother and father’s brother. There is confusion about their religious affiliation, though they are listed as unreached Hindus. One source says that they used to marry according to Muslim traditions, but now use Sikh marriage ceremonies instead. (Most live in Punjab, India’s only state with a Sikh majority). That same source says that they can be Hindu, Sikh, or Christian.
The Gagra people will accept the help of modern medical health centers, but they will not approach the police or courts for justice. It did not say why, but most likely they have had bad experiences with India’s judicial system.
What are Their Beliefs?
Though we know little about their religious affiliation, we know that they need Christ.
Pray that they will have the opportunity to experience Christ’s lavish, limitless love.