Profile Source: Global Prayer Digest / Keith Carey
Introduction / History
During the news interview, Rajit, a Rastogi man spoke directly into the microphone while beads of sweat on his forehead betrayed his nervousness. He said, "One reason for the peaceful nature of the city of Lucknow, India, is the network of economic dependency which cuts across religion and caste. This is especially true of the local embroidery industry, known as Chikan. This is a traditional Muslim craft, but it is traded mostly by our Hindu Rastoogi businessmen." Sameer, a prominent news reporter responded, "However, it seems this is changing. Just the other day I heard there were more riots because some Muslim loom owners said Hindus tried to destroy their businesses." Rajit replied, "I pray that Surya (the Hindu Sun God) will protect us and bring us continued prosperity."
Where are they Located?
Most of the 63,000 Hindu Rastoogi people live in northern India, primarily Uttar Pradesh.
What are Their Beliefs?
This prominent caste traces its Hindu beliefs back to when they selected "Surya" the Hindu sun god as their clan deity. Surya is portrayed as a red man with three eyes and four arms, riding in a chariot. They worship him as the god of healing and fortune. His picture is in Rastoogi-owned shops and homes because they firmly believe he will bring them blessings.
With almost no known followers of Christ in Uttar Pradesh, the Rastoogi people need an influx of missionaries to tell them about Christ's glory. Pray that many Rastoogi people will come to know God's truth, life, and ways.
Some information from "The Scheduled Castes" K. S. Singh, ed. Oxford University Press, USA (1994)