Introduction / History
The Koya live along the banks of the River Godavari in the Kammam district of Andhra Pradesh. They are also found in the states of Orissa and Chattisgarh.
What Are Their Lives Like?
They are mainly agriculturalists but also work as daily labourers when they do not have work in their fields. They used to be primitive and often isolated, but of late they are slowly merging with mainstream Indian society and are seeing much development.
The Koya love socialising. They make use of every opportunity to meet their friends and relatives. A weekly market in each locality draws many people for this purpose, not just for selling and buying. Young boys and girls also use these socialising events to choose their life partners.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Koyas were originally animistic in faith, but now take pride in a Hindu identity. During the early years of Christian work among the Koya, those who became Christians faced much opposition from the community. Actions against them included excommunication from the community and denial of access to the water source. Over a period of time, Christian Koya became accepted, though they mingle with others only during social gatherings, not for Koya religious festivals.
Several Christian organisations are working among the Koya, providing literacy, medical and community development services along with evangelistic outreach. Several Koya churches have been established and many Koya Christians are being equipped through short-term Bible Schools to be evangelists in their own community.
The New Testament is translated and available in the Koya language. Old Testament translation is in progress. Koya songs and study materials are resources also available as audio cassettes and CDs. Although there are many Koya Christian workers and resources, many more Christian workers are needed. Pray that God will send additional workers for the growing ministry among the Koya.
What Are Their Needs?
The Government has done much to improve the living conditions of Koyas. Their traditional mud houses with thatched roofs have been replaced by tiled or concrete roofed houses and some have their own private toilet facilities.
* Effective use of the translated New Testament in Koya churches and in the personal lives of Koya Christians.
* Completion and distribution of audio recordings of the Koya New Testament.
* The trial printing of the Book of Psalms.
* A training facility for mother tongue translators for the OT project.
* The literacy classes to increase reading of Scripture personally and in the churches.
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