The term "Panchama" is sometimes used to include several people groups ("communities") in the Untouchables, or Dalit, class of people. "Harijan" is another term which has been used for this category. "Panchama" means the fifth one, referring to a non-existent fifth varna, or social class in the caste system, below the other four varnas. As used here, Panchama refers to only one people group, living in several southern districts of India. Many work as farm laborers. Lord Venkatesh-war is considered their patron deity. Village deities such as Sub-balamma and Kanakadurgamma are worshipped. The people are served by Brahmin priests, Dasari priests, washer-men and barbers.
Hinduism presents a very different picture of eternal realities than does the Christian Bible. It's difficult for people to change their understanding this radically and it usually doesn't occur swiftly.
Poor and downtrodden people are often those most responsive to the Gospel message. Even though there likely are no followers of Jesus among these people today, we should pray the Lord will send workers soon to tell them about new life in Christ. Oral communication is likely to be the most effective approach.
Pray for the Followers of Christ
It's not too early to pray for those in this community who will soon come to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Pray the Lord will send pastors to shepherd them and teach them accurately.
Pray for the Entire People Group
One of the alternate names for the Panchama people is "Pariah", meaning outsider or castaway. Please pray for the Panchamas to be brought into God's family, accepted as beloved children of God, no longer outsiders.
|Profile Source: Joshua Project|