Introduction / History
The Lohar people of India are nomadic smiths who travel in order to sell their goods. They are descendants of high-caste weapon makers of the Mewar kingdom in India. Unfortunately, they became poor nomads when the kingdom fell in 1568, and they still are today.
Where Are they Located?
Although they are nomads, most of the Lohar people live in the Indian state of Rajashthan.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Lohar lead hard lives. Although they work hard, they live in extreme poverty. This is partly because most people prefer to buy goods from stores and factories, not handmade items, which are more expensive and are of less quality. In addition, many are cannot read or write because of the nomadic lifestyle they lead, where few or none have gone to school. Also, because of the Hindu caste system in India, they are considered "untouchables" and are despised. Plus, there are stereotypes about nomads, such as the idea that they are all thieves or corrupt gypsies, even though they generally work up to 14 hours a day.
What Are Their Beliefs?
As with most of modern-day India, the Lohar are almost completely Hindu. Hinduists believe in and worship millions of gods, the most important of which is Brahmin. To them, salvation means escaping from the seemingly endless cycle of death and reincarnation (the principle that you are reborn as another person or even an animal after you die). This escape is achieved through knowledge, devotion, and deeds.
What Are Their Needs?
The Lohar need business so they can feed their families. They need either more people to buy from them or become sedentary (the opposite of nomadic, meaning they settle down in one place like we do) and take up an entire other career, which would be difficult since so few of them (or maybe even none) have had the chance to go to school. Nevertheless, their most dire need is for the love of God. They are low-caste, considered "untouchable", and are often misunderstood because of stereotypes. They are the perfect example of a people in need of God's healing touch.
* Pray for their careers. Pray that their business success increases, or, if it is God's will that they become sedentary, that they receive the education they need.
* Pray that more audio and video resources will be created in their language, since very few or none can read or write.
* They have been deemed "untouchable". Pray that missionaries would feel a need to go to the Lohar and show them that God shows no favoritism. He accepts all people, even those considered "untouchable".
* Above all, pray for their hearts; for them to be open to God and His love.
"And then Jesus began to pray: 'I praise you, Father – Lord of heaven and earth. You have revealed Your truths to the lowly and the ignorant, the children and the crippled, the lame and the mute. You have hidden wisdom from those who pride themselves on being so wise and learned.'" (Matthew 11:25, The Voice)
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