Profile Source: Global Prayer Digest / Keith Carey
Introduction / History
Are they a religious group? A caste? An ethnic group? A community? The Lingayats can fall into any of these four categories. Not many of us can trace our community roots back to the 12th century, but the Lingayat Bania people can do it. The Lingayats are primarily involved in agriculture, but trade and industry are also quite lucrative occupations for them. They deal regularly in grain, cloth, groceries, and spices. Lingayats also play a vital role in the economic, social, educational, and political life of the state of Karnataka.
What are Their Beliefs?
Most Lingayats are very committed Hindus, observing all major Hindu holidays and practices. They hold the belief that they themselves can become gods. They actually hold many peculiar beliefs that set them apart from other Hindus. Their beliefs are so unusual that some people regard them as members of a separate religion. Lingayat marriages are arranged, either by the proposed husband's side of the family or the proposed wife's side. In the Lingayat community it is not unusual for someone to marry a close relative. For example, a man could marry his sister's daughter or the daughter of his maternal uncle.
* Pray that there would be more contacts between the Lingayats and the people of Jesus Christ.
* Pray that the modernization of India would encourage missionaries to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Lingayat people.
Some information from "The Scheduled Castes" K. S. Singh, ed. Oxford University Press, USA (1994)